Fr. Tony Lalli, SX/Monday of the 28th Week
The American Poet, Robert Frost, has long been a favorite of mine. In his well-known poem, “The Road Not Taken”, he beautifully reminds us of the necessity to make choices in life:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I /I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference.
Today’s lesson from the Gospel according to Luke confirms that message and contains words of warning to people who were not taking advantage of their opportunities. Jesus was the messenger sent from God to proclaim the coming Kingdom of God.
But many people ignored his invitation to repent and to welcome the reign of God in their hearts. Jesus had some harsh words fro these people. He told them it would go easier for the pagan Ninevites than for them at the judgment. The Ninevites repented in response to the preaching of Jonah.
And Jesus was certainly greater than Jonah. Their greater opportunity carried a greater responsibility. God would hold them accountable for he light that was available to them. It would go worse for them than for the pagans because they had rejected the message from the messenger of God.
This passage reminds us of the tragedy of missed opportunities in every area of life. Looking back over a long life, most people have few regrets about the things that they have done. They may feel some guilt over mistakes but the failures of the past are accepted because they were occasions for change and growth. What people regret the most are the things that they did not do!
The missed opportunities are the memories that haunt a person as he grows older. The roads not take out of carelessness or cowardice or fear are the memories that fill us with regret. Don’t neglect the gift of friendship that is asking to be formed. Don’t neglect the chance to strike a blow for justice that may never come again. Don’t neglect the tug of the heart that is calling for a deeper faith commitment. Don’t let the boat of opportunity sail without your being on board.
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged n a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.