23rd SUNDAY in ORDINARY TIME
Stewardship of Time
September 9-10, 2017
STEWARDSHIP OF TIME
Homily Series for Stewardship Month, Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, September 9-10, 2017
Noong nakaraang linggo, pinagnilayan natin ang Stewardship of Faith, ngayon naman ay bibigyang pansin natin ang Stewardship of Time. Mahalaga ang aspetong ito sa pagiging mabuting katiwala sapagkat ilang beses na nating narinig ang mga pangungusap na ganito: Time is gold… How I wish I had the time but I have no time… If I can only go back in time, then I can make things better.
Pero mas mabuting tanungin: How do you spend your time? How much time do you spend for work and recreation? But do you give quality time to your family? Do you even have time for God or service to the Church? How much time did you waste for not so important things? Ang daling sabihin: I have no time. But is it true that we really have no time? The bible tells us how we should view time. Perhaps, you have read or listened to this beautiful Old Testament passage:
“There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecl 3:1-8)
Kaya nga isang maling argumento na wala tayong oras o panahon para ilaan sa mahahalagang bagay sa ating buhay. Kung may dalawampu’t apat (24) na oras sa loob ng isang araw at may isang daan at animnapu’t walong (168) oras sa loob ng isang linggo, dapat nating kilatisin at pagnilayan ang ginugugol nating oras sa iba’t ibang aspeto ng ating buhay. Halimbawa na lang, para sa isang magulang na nagtratrabaho sa opisina o isang anak na nag-aaral sa paaralan sa loob ng isang araw, eh walong (8) oras na marahil ang para sa pagtulog, walong (8) oras naman para sa trabaho at eskuwela, at dalawang (2) oras para sa biyahe. Suma total eh labingwalong oras (18) na po ito at anim (6) na oras na lang ang natitira para kumain, maligo, mag-ayos ng katawan at kung anu-ano pa. Sa totoo lang, ginagamit pa natin ang ilang oras na ito para manood ng teleserye, mag-facebook o mag-video game.
Naisip ko nga. May panahon pa ba tayo para mag-kuwentuhan o magkamustahan sa pamilya? Kung mayroon, may panahon pa ba tayong magdasal?
Think about this. If there are 168 hours in a week, many of us go to mass only on Sunday and spend one hour inside the Church. If you do the math, it is 1/168 (1 is to 168). We give only a very small fraction of our worship time to God, knowing that God created time for us to enjoy life in the world and live our lives to the full.
The Greeks have two concepts of time. The first one is called KRONOS which refers to the chronology of events in time. Ito yung pagkakasunod-sunod ng oras. Kung kanina ay alas kuwatro ng umaga, eh mamaya ay alas onse ng gabi. It focuses on the quantity of time. The second one is KAIROS. This refers to a particular moment in time, an opportune moment that makes us aware and appreciative of an event. Ito yung karanasan na masaya tayo sa biyaya at pasasalamat sa isang okasyon katulad ng birthday or anniversary. This focuses on the quality of time.
So how can we be trustworthy stewards of the gift of time which God has given us? Let us spend some quantity and quality time for some of the more important things that really matter in life. The following are three suggestions:
- The first, of course, is spending time with God in prayer regularly. We allot time in the morning to pray from 10 to 15 minutes to praise God for the gift of the a new day and to ask God to guide us in whatever we will do throughout the whole day. We do the same thing in the evening, spending time in a prayer of thanksgiving for his love that carried us throughout our activities during the day, also entrusting ourselves to Him as we rest and sleep. Let us also respect the Lord’s Day, Sunday by going to Church on time to celebrate mass, the highest form of prayer. Dagdagan natin ang panahon sa panalangin. Ito ay patunay na number one ang Diyos sa ating buhay. Manalangin tayo dahil ipinapakita natin sa Diyos na kailangan natin ang kanyang gabay sa lahat ng gawain natin sa buhay.
- The second is spending more quality time with members of your family. Para sa mag-asawa, maglaan ng panahon para mag-date at mag-usap ng personal. Baka puro trabaho lang ang inaatupag at naiisantabi ang panahon para sa isa’t isa. Para sa mga magulang, maglaan ng panahon para makipag-bonding sa anak. Make time and enjoy the company of your children. Listen and dialogue with them. Recreate with them. Also spend time with your aging parents and grandparents. Gaano kadalas natin sila binibisita at kinakausap. Huwag na nating antayin na sila ay magkasakit o pumanaw para maunawaan natin kung gaano sila kahalaga sa ating buhay. Our aging parents and grandparents are God’s precious gifts to us and our gift to them is to accompany them during their twilight years.
- The third is to spend time serving the parish community. Have you ever thought of doing some Church service? There are many opportunities for parish service like serving during mass as: altar server, lector, lay Eucharistic minister and many more. We also have ministries to help the poor, the sick and those in need. A meaningful way to celebrate the Year of the Parish is for you to find time serving the parish community. Kung kayo ay naglilingkod na sa ating parokya, magandang tanungin ang sarili kung saan pa kayo tinatawag ng Diyos para mag-alay pa ng panahon para sa Kanya. Kung hindi pa kayo naglilingkod sa parokya, baka ito na ang tamang panahon. Halina kayo at magsama-sama tayong maglingkod sa Diyos at pamayanan.
Three ways to be Stewards of Time: 1) Spend time with God in prayer; 2) Spend time with your loved ones in the family; and 3) Spend time to serve your parish community.
Noong nakaraang linggo, maliwanag na ang mabutng katiwala sa pananampalataya ay isang desisyon na alamin o pag-aralan at isabuhay ito. Today, stewardship of time entails, SERVICE and COMMITMENT. Ang maglingkod at magmalasakit hindi lamang sa pamilya higit lahat sa parokya.
In our gospel today, Jesus taught his disciples a long, tedious process on how to correct a brother who sins against us or commits a wrongdoing against another. This process necessitates quality time of courageous confrontation, patient listening and compassionate dialogue. We spend time with this process to achieve the goal of conversion and reconciliation. One can even say that it seems we wasted time in the process, realizing in the end that nothing happens and, perhaps our efforts have been fruitless. But I can only think of one reason why we spend so much time doing this… or why we waste time wrestling with this process of conversion, reconciliation and healing? The only reason is LOVE!
Remember what Jesus told his disciples. In the end, when you have exhausted every strategy to win your brother back, treat him like a Gentile or tax collector. And how did Jesus treat gentiles and tax collectors? He joined their company even though he was criticized by the Pharisees and scribes. He healed a centurion’s slave and expelled a demon from the daughter of a Canaanite woman. He dined with Levi and entered the house of Zaccheus who were both tax collectors. Thus, he showed his love and forgiveness that brought them salvation.
Brothers and sisters, we are willing to spend or even, so to speak, waste time with another, even a person who has hurt us, because we love that person. When we love a person, we are willing to spend all the time we have in our life to make that person feel how much we love him or her and how he or she is loved by God. Amen.