Do Not Wait To Bring Love, Peace and Mercy To the World

Graham Greene’s novel THE POWER AND THE GLORY deals with religious persecution in Mexico. One of its characters is an old priest. The constant tension of being hunted by the police takes its toll on him. He turns to alcohol and fails to serve his people properly. Eventually he is captured and

sentenced to be executed. The morning of the execution he wakes up filled with sorrow. ”Tears poured down his face; he was not…afraid of damnation…he felt only an immense disappointment because he had to go to God empty handed.” In his own mind, at least, he had failed. Under the circumstances the priest was probably being too hard on himself. But his situation reminds us of how important our everyday responsibilities are. We can live only one day at a time. The opportunities of each day to bring love, peace and mercy into the world may be given to us only once. If we do not act on them when they present themselves we may have lost that moment forever. When someone needs a word of encouragement, he or she needs it at that exact moment and not tomorrow or next week. If someone is starving, you cannot wait to feed them at some other time. If someone is weeping, that person needs consolation right then and not some time later. It is in fulfilling as best we can the responsibilities of every day, in responding as fully as possible to the opportunities of the moment, that we prove our faithfulness to God. One of the greatest regrets of life is looking back on what we could have and should have done. As Saint John Chrysostom said, “Faithfulness in little things is a big thing.”