Sharon and Rob [names are fictional] had been married about 7 years. Lately, Sharon’s mother had noticed some strains in their marriage. She thought the time was about right to have a chat with her daughter so she called her and arranged to take her for lunch the following day. They met the next day at a local restaurant and after the meal was over Mom told Sharon that she had something important to tell her. She added that it was advice her own mother had given her years ago and she hoped it would be helpful.
- In your marriage it is wise never to keep score. Open loving communication in the marriage rather than scorekeeping greases the wheels of understanding and forgiveness;
- Always take the time to answer your children’s questions. Don’t tell them that you are too busy otherwise as they grow to maturity they will not be comfortable seeking your advice.
- Make it a point to pray for your family each day that your spouse and your children and grandchildren might benefit from the grace that God makes available to them.
Sharon thanked her mother for these insights but asked her why she had not shared them before. Mom smiled at her and said lovingly “Because you were not ready”.
Timing is definitely important in orchestrating our own affairs and in collaborating in the affairs of others. In the spiritual realm, we are called to share Jesus with others. The “when” “where” and “how” of that undertaking requires the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s interesting to reflect on the life of Jesus himself and to ponder the reason why he waited until age 30 to begin his public ministry. An interesting explanation came out of a homily given this past Sunday by Fr John Friel. Fr. John commented that Jews born into the faith at the time of Jesus did not receive baptism, only converts to Judaism did. They didn’t feel that they needed it since they were by birth a member of the chosen people. It wasn’t until John the Baptist began his work of repentance that some Jews began to understand the need for Baptism as a sign of repentance. Jesus, Fr. Friel speculates, may have been waiting for the people touched by the work of John the Baptist to be open to receive His teaching once they had demonstrated a need for repentance.
As we go about our work of evangelization today, we need also to appreciate the importance of timing in bringing others to a knowledge and love of Jesus. The work we do each day in concert with the unseen work of other members of the Body will be creatively used by the Holy Spirit at the right time to touch the heart of others. We need to reflect in our daily lives that Jesus is the center of our own lives and above all we need to reach out in love to those around us knowing that our efforts will bear fruit at a time and in a place and in the manner determined by God.