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Appointments or Excuses?

26th Sunday in OT


“(The second son answered his father), ‘I am going, sir’; but he did not go.”

Matthew 21:28-32

My Dear Family in Christ,

This past week, I was listening to one of my brother priests speak about what it means to have a committed prayer life. He said something that hit me like a crowbar over the head:

When it comes to showing up every day to pray, we either make an

appointment or we will end up making excuses.

I felt this on several levels. Applied directly to my own prayer life, I know full well how many times in just the last week I had every intention of stopping what I was doing and getting my (self) to the chapel to spend time with Jesus. I also know how many times that actually happened, and those numbers do not add up.

I also felt this as it applies to things like my daily duties, social life, and taking care of my health. I think especially of the people I have said “Let’s hang out sometime!”and then nothing gets put in the calendar, so it doesn’t happen. I have so many good intentions, I make so many lists and plans, and yet so often I find myself falling woefully short of what I want (and ought) to be doing.

Why is this the case? It’s because I don’t put these things in my calendar. I don’t make an ‘appointment’, so instead I end up making excuses- sort of like what my brother priest had said.

This Sunday, Jesus invites us to not simply say yes, but to follow through with it. I believe that if you and I are going to grow in our spiritual lives, we have to make appointments. Concrete times and places which we dedicate specifically to God. This starts, most basically, with Mass on Sunday, but it also applies to our daily prayer. Set a time, put it in the calendar, protect it, and be faithful to it.

May we be Christians who make appointments, not excuses.

God love you,

Father Daniel

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