Face the music

Have you ever heard the expression “Face the music?” The expression means: to be confronted with the unpleasant consequences of one’s actions. Here’s how that phrase came about:

Many years ago, a man wanted to play in the Imperial Orchestra, but he could not play a note. However, since he was a person of great wealth and influence, he demanded to be allowed to join the orchestra so that he could perform in front of the king.

The conductor agreed to let him sit in the second row of the orchestra. Even though he could not read music, he was given a flute, and when a concert would begin, he would raise his instrument, pucker his lips, and move his fingers. He went through all the motions of playing, but he never made a sound.

This deception went on for two years. Then one day a new conductor took over the Imperial Orchestra. He told the orchestra that he wanted to personally audition all the players to see how well they could play. The audition would weed out all those who were not able to meet his standards, and he would dismiss them from the orchestra.

One by one the players performed in his presence. Frantic with worry when it was his turn, the phony flutist pretended to be sick. The doctor who was ordered to examine him, however, declared that he was perfectly well. The conductor insisted that the man appear and demonstrate his skill.

Shamefacedly, the man had to confess that he was a fake. That was the day he had to “face the music.” We all, one day will be called to stand before our heavenly Father and “face the music.” In front of Him, no one will be able to hide, and we will be separated; the phonies from the true players.

However, God in His infinite Mercy gives us an opportunity to “face the music” here on earth. If we compare this life to an orchestra, we can consider Jesus as the conductor of this orchestra which has both true players and phony ones. Facing the music here on earth means becoming a true player who plays Jesus’ music.

What is Jesus’s music and how can we play it? Jesus’ music is charity and we play that music when we remain in His love. This means that it is not enough to be in His orchestra, i.e. being Christian; but rather, it is necessary to perform His music.

The music we perform: works of mercy, attending Mass, participating in one or many parish groups, giving alms, Holy hours, novenas, etc. While these are all good actions, they are not automatically Jesus’ music, which would mean that we are phony players. In order to transform those actions into Jesus’ music, we must perform them for the sake of Jesus’ love. If His love is the motive of those actions, then we are playing His music and we are not phony players. This is why it is very important to do everything out of charity, since charity is the virtue that makes us remain in Jesus’s love and be a true music player.

Daily homily


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