When we go through what has happened during the past days, we will also remember missed opportunities. Perhaps we missed an opportunity to deepen a relationship because we forgot to call a relative on her birthday. Perhaps we missed an opportunity to deepen our faith because we allowed ourselves to be distracted in church by the sound of the air-conditioning. Perhaps we missed an opportunity to connect with our neighbors, who were cleaning up the nearby park, because we wasted time watching a useless program on TV. All of us can think of such and similar missed opportunities. Fortunately, most of them are minor and we can make up for them.
This came to my mind when I was reflecting over today’s readings, which are about missed opportunities of major significance. Christ preached in several towns, cured their sick, and directed them to a deeper understanding of God’s plan and the significance of life. However, the people living in Chorazin, Tyre, Sidon, and Capernaum were not open to his powerful message of the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God. They missed the opportunity to understand his mission, to change their lives and be part of the evolving Kingdom of God. Christ’s harsh words are an attempt to alert them of the importance of recognizing and joining his mission.
The first reading of today describes how God prepared the deliverance of the people of Israel from the bondage of slavery by saving Moses. Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and, in addition to understanding himself as a Hebrew, he also could identify himself as an Egyptian. Integrating both identities would have made him the ideal person to negotiate the release of the Hebrews from slavery. However, he was overcome with emotion when he witnessed how an Egyptian abused one of the Hebrews, and murdered him. He had to flee and hide. We could hypothetically say that Moses had missed the opportunity to save his people and he messed up God’s plan. Fortunately, God provides additional opportunities when we miss or mess up an opportunity. Ultimately, Moses guided his people out of bondage into freedom.
This assures us that God will provide another opportunity whenever we miss opportunities in our life. Not all is lost when we make serious errors of judgment and mistakes.
Let us pray today that, with the help of God, we identify opportunities that strengthen our faith and our relationships with God and others and become involved in activities that express our faith’s central commitment to serve others.
Let us pray today for forgiveness when missing such opportunities and ask God to open our eyes, our mind, and our heart to recognize future opportunities and to respond to them.