In 1972 Glen Campbell released a song entitled “I will never pass this way again” written by Ronnie Gaylord that drew on today’s reading from the book of Proverbs. It is both beautiful and challenging, inviting us to make sure that if there is any kindness we can do not to put it off till tomorrow. The old Latin maxim Carpe Diem ‘Seize the day’ shares the same sentiment. Each day is a precious gift to be lived to the full. Important measures of a life well lived are the acts of kindness and compassion that mark our lives.
Jesus’ own invitation today is to be a light for the world. The quality of our care for others and living our lives generously are some of the most powerful ways we can bear witness as Christians. One of our parishioners at Endeavour Hills worked as a forklift operator and was surprised one day by the remark of a workmate who observed that he must be a Christian. Burt was curious, so his co-worker explained that he knew he was a person of faith because of the way he was at work – cheery, helpful, kind and considerate of others.
Jesus challenges us to be careful how we listen to the world and the people around us. It is so important that our ears and hearts are not closed to the needs of others. If we are too busy or preoccupied we may not hear them and respond as we are called. Let’s take up the challenge this and every day because we will not pass this way again.
Fr. Chris CP lectures in the New Testament and is President of Yarra Theological Union. He is a member of the Passionist community of Holy Cross in Templestowe.