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OPPORTUNITIES KNOCK – BUT NOT FOR EVER!

Father Francis's picture
Fifth Week of Lent

Num. 21:4-9 & Jn. 8:21-30

The Israelites grumble against Moses and are punished by biting serpents, but they are delivered by looking upon a bronze serpent erected by Moses following the directives of the Lord. Like the Israelites we have all sinned and become estranged from God, but we are rescued by Jesus lifted up on the Cross.

Missed opportunities of life is the subject of today's Gospel reading. Jesus was telling the Pharisees that He would soon be going away, and they would search for Him but they could not come to where He would be. Some of them took this to be a suicide threat which only shows how little they knew Jesus!

He was talking to them about the passing opportunities of life. These men were living at a very special time. Given the chance to form a personal friendship with the Son of God, they refused to listen to Him. Given the chance to learn from the greatest teacher of all time, they learnt nothing. We can look back now and see the opportunity that they missed.

But most of us have great difficulty in recognising life's opportunities until it is too late. Some parents are like that with their children, wishing they had taken the chance to know them while they were still at home. Some children are like that with their parents, wishing they had taken the time to love them while they were still alive. We are sometimes like that with our friends, wishing we had spent more time with them.

Some opportunities knock only once. Others happen more often but there comes a time when they knock for the last time. That is what Jesus was telling the Pharisees, “I am going away. You will look for Me; but where I am going you cannot come.”

Lent is an opportunity that God offers to us, to allow us to repent and grow closer to Him. Are we aware that next week is Holy Week, the last week of Lent? Have we taken advantage of our opportunity? Like the Pharisees time for us is running out, but it is never too late to heed the words of Christ.

Heavenly Father, help us to seize the opportunity, today, to deepen our spirit of repentance, so that when Easter comes we shall rise with Your Son and have no cause to look back with regret.

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