We all love an underdog. We root for the person that is down on his luck, has suffered a catastrophe, who has no chance…. the guy is out of shape, he’s too old, maybe an alcoholic. Everyone has written him off, including himself.
We remember underdog movies like Hoosiers and Rudy, and of course “Rocky”, where Micky the grizzled manager, tells Rock “you’re a bum…you’re a two bit bum… you’re a loser… go back to the docks.” Wow, that hurt Mick.
Sometimes we write ourselves off. The dreams and hopes we had for ourselves, have moved into a distant part of our memory. It’s just not going to happen….
“I could have been holy… I could have been a saint, ….but look at me now”… pretty depressing.
Start the Rocky Music because the truth is:
It’s not too late for us. It’s not too late for you and me to become a saint.
I may not able to go back and re-live my past but I can begin now. I just need to capture this day… this moment. Many of the saints that we look to and admire were not saints their entire life. Some didn’t become saints until the end of their lives. One became a saint in the last minutes of his life. St. Dismas, better known as the “Good Thief”, repented in his last moments on the cross next to Jesus. The “net-net” was that Jesus said “this day you will be with me in paradise”. (Luke 23:43) While the crowd was jeering “Dismas, you’re a bum, you’re a loser, you deserve death on a cross… Christ was saying “Dis, you’re coming with me to heaven”. Talk about “saint for a day”.
Jacques Fesch was a murderer who experienced a profound conversion before his execution in a French prison in 1957. In a letter to the prison chaplain he wrote
“Dear Father, here I am at the close of my life, my soul at peace and my heart steady. In a few hours a new and eternal dawn will break for me , if our Lord judges me worthy to be counted among his children. I owe you my heartfelt thanks, Father, for your perseverance in my regard, for your kindness and the care you have always taken for my soul’s welfare, nourishing it faithfully with its one need: our Lord Jesus Christ….I shall carry your name to heaven with me, written in my heart… until we meet in God.. your humble and grateful sheep, Jacques.” (Magnificat, April 2020, pg. 251)
Well, how about us? It’s not too late for us to become saints. Let’s start now, this moment. There’s still time for us. Lord Jesus help us, show us how. Give us the grace to turn to you with our whole heart.
Wait, I hear someone shouting …. “go for it… you can do it…start now” . Who is that I hear shouting ….is that Dis? Is that Jacques ?