A number of years ago someone gave me a gift. It was a circle of cloth with the letters T W I T in the middle of the circle. The object was called a round to it. It was for procrastinators. How often have we heard ourselves saying, I’ll get around to making that phone call, I’ll get around to sending that email, I’ll get around to visiting, I’ll get around to doing whatever. I’ll get around to it. Remember Harry Chapin’s song ‘the cats in the cradle’ and its refrain ‘we’ll get together then son, you know we’ll have a good time son’- of course it never happened – I’m very busy but we’ll get around to it.
I thought of this when I read today’s gospel. People busy with many things but they will get around to being followers of Jesus when they finish their other business.
Our gospel begins with these words – “When the days drew near for him to be taken up Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem.” He knew what lay ahead of him, he told the disciples, “the son of man will be betrayed into the hands of sinners, be put to death but on the third day be raised.” Nothing would distract him from doing his Father’s will, especially the hostility of the Samaritans. He was not about to command fire to come down from heaven. Jerusalem was not a matter Jesus would get around to it when he took care of others things. He would go to Jerusalem now.
“For this was I born, for this I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth” – the truth of God’s unconditional love for each one of us.
When these well-meaning people offered to join him on the way he was quite blunt with them. He wanted followers, not admirers. He was looking for commitment now, not when they got around to it, not when it fit into their plans or obligations.
Jesus was looking for commitment then, he looks for commitment now. We all know commitments are not easy to make and less easy to keep. We tend to avoid them and postpone promises. In a variation of today’s gospel we may say, ‘I’ve got things to do, projects to finish, plans to realize’ and then I’ll be right there for you. I’ll get around to it.
We are all busy people. Think of all the people you see on cell phones or texting whether they’re walking or driving or sharing a meal in a restaurant. But we really will get around to getting back to Sunday Mass, we really will get around to taking time to be still in God’s presence, we really will get around to make some time to do serious reading or reading the scriptures. We really will get around to taking the teachings and the example of Jesus to heart but right now we’ve got important things to do, projects to do, deals to close, meeting to attend, but honestly we will get around to taking Jesus seriously, we’ll get around thinking about what his life and death were all about, we’ll get around to questioning ourselves as to how faithful we are to his teaching, how faithfully we live the new commandment, ‘love one another as I have loved you’.
As we continue this Mass we pray for ourselves and for each other that strengthened by the Eucharist we received we will have the willingness to get around to what must be most important in our lives – our personal relationship with Jesus the Christ, who loved us and gave his life for us.