“Dear friends in Jesus, in case you are wondering as to who I am? I am Fr. Mohan from the diocese of Guntur, India ordained on the 18th of April 2001. I had been in the diocese of Gallup, NM for eight years and Tucson, AZ for two years before I went back to India to take care of my ailing parents. I came here last week and beginning this weekend I will be your parochial vicar until such time as God calls me or needs me elsewhere.
Dear friends in Jesus, an Indian actress by name Pooja was crowned Miss India in 2009 and became a celebrity overnight, but about 25 years before her success she was just a liability. Her father, who had a passion for boys, did not like her birth. He somehow wanted to get rid of her and so he gave an ultimatum to her mom, ‘You either kill the girl or kill your marriage with me.’ When Pooja was just 20 days old, her mother was forced to make a decision either to kill her daughter or permanently give up her marriage and security. The brave mother decided to keep the daughter at the cost of her marriage and security. Before leaving the husband she said, ‘One day I will be proud of this girl and the decision I have made in her favor.’ So saying she left her husband and began working hard for the well being of her daughter. Her decision brought her many hardships and difficulties. She had to forgo her own comforts and pleasures to bring her daughter up, but after 25 years her decision in favor of her daughter paid off when Pooja was crowned Miss India in honor of the work she had done for the welfare of women. Dear friends in Jesus, her decision may not have given her immediate results. It may have caused her financial struggles. It may have made her insecure for a while, but she did not ever regret the decision she made 25 years ago. Looking back she feels very proud of the decision she made.
Dear friends in Jesus, we all make decisions every day, but how many of the decisions we make as human beings and as Christians give us lasting happiness and joy? How many of them make us proud when we look back at them? Let us examine some of the decisions we make. We are Catholics and at times we decide to keep away from the sacrament of reconciliation. We are expected to love all without any exception, but we do decide to hate some people and keep away from them. We are supposed to keep the will of God in our day to day lives, but at times we do decide to do our own will and not God’s. We are supposed to attend Sunday Mass, but I am sure there are times we do decide in favor of a ball game or vacation and skip our Sunday obligation. We are bound to be faithful in marriage, but a few of us for whatever reasons decide to be unfaithful. We are to respect our parents and elders and at times we do decide otherwise. Are we proud of these decisions we make? Do they give us lasting joy and happiness? Do they secure our future with God in eternity?
Today I want you to look at some decisions made by some people in the Bible. In Luke 16, Jesus speaks of a steward who is in crisis. His master decides to fire him from his job. Faced with the crisis of losing his job, he makes a wise decision, says the Gospel which makes his future happy and secure. How many of our own decisions make our today happy and our tomorrow secure? The Gospels speak of the decision Mother Mary took when she was 16 years old. She decided to do the will of God and to remain his handmaid for the rest of her life and that is the reason why she told the angel Gabriel, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to thy word.’ She knew that her decision to do the will of God would make her proud and give her lasting happiness. She was so sure of the lasting happiness her decision would bring that she could proclaim in Luke 1:48, ‘From now on all ages will call me blessed.’ Do the decisions we are making today make our tomorrow happy and blessed? Consider the decisions Paul made right after his conversion. He decided to preach the Gospel to all gentiles and that is what he did the rest of his life with love and dedication. He was not only proud of his decision, but also knew that his decision would bring him lasting joy that he could Timothy, ‘I have completed well. I have run the race and now the crown of righteousness awaits me.’ 2 Timothy 4:7. Are we sure our decisions today will make our tomorrow rewarding? And today’s Gospel speaks of a decision Jesus himself made and he says in the Gospel, ‘The son of man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him.’ Who hands the son of man over to man? He himself does, but it is his decision to give in to the hands of man and what happens next? In three days his decision will pay off. God the Father will raise him from death. St. Paul says, ‘Jesus is exalted by God the Father because of his decision to give in to the hands of men.’ Dear friends in Jesus, these are the kinds of decisions we need to make every day, decisions that make us happy and proud today, tomorrow and forever and how do we make good decisions?
- Pray for God’s guidance before you make any decision and remember this, every time you pray you are making God your partner. The Bible says, ‘A man is a fool to trust himself, but those who use God’s wisdom are saved.’ Proverbs 28:26
- Get your facts right before you make a decision because the Bible says, ‘All who are prudent act with knowledge.’ Proverbs 13:16
- Ask for advice. Talk to people who have made similar decisions. The Word of God says, ‘The more good advice you get, the more likely you are to win.’ Proverbs 24:6
- Calculate the cost. Every decision has a price tag. It will cost you time and talents, but make sure it does not cost you your own soul. The Bible says, ‘For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?’ Mark 8:36
- Start making good decisions today. Some of us wait for New Year’s Eve to make a good decision. Some of us wait for Advent and some of us wait for Lent. Dear friends in Jesus, if you wait for the perfect moment, nothing gets done because perfectionism paralyzes potential. The book of Eclesiastes says, ‘If you wait for the perfect conditions you will never get anything done.’ 11:4
And our prayer today is Heavenly Father, help us make decisions, decisions that make us proud as your children. Amen”