What You Thought You Saw

Are you constantly "ruled" by the way time and schedules intrude on your day? Maybe you need to re-think the concept of time?
by Kathryn M. Cunningham, MAPS | Source: Catholic.net

         Sometimes we need a concrete reminder of who we are and what we are actually supposed to be looking at as far as the arc of our life goes.  The Feast of Christ the King is such a reminder.   In order to feel comfortable we humans function in a “make believe” perimeter of our own creation.  In “liturgical time” Christ the King is the end of it all, the conclusion of time in the Church year.  We mark that end by declaring a feast and immediately (the next week) beginning a designated period  which lets us contemplate the great feast of the Church year that celebrates the coming of the eternal light, Jesus Christ.  As believers, one of the things that we need to be constantly aware of is that time is actually a figment of our imagination.  Time is a human creation for our own personal comfort and does not exist in God’s vocabulary.  The only occasion when time is mentioned in the Bible is in the creation story.  Even there, the terms “day” and “night” are never really defined in a concrete manner.  Even our own Native Americans have no words for seconds, minutes, hours, months.   Their life, rather, was a cooperation and observation of the earth and its cycles.  They did not live according to schedules and concepts of punctuality as measured by mechanical devices did not exist for them. 


          We need to have a clear understanding that as believers in the Resurrection, we are timeless along with God.  One of the key theological concepts of Mass is the heavenly reality that God is the eternal now.  The sacrifice that Jesus made is not a onetime event that transpired on x date, but rather an occurrence that is ongoing and ever present in which we participate at every Mass we attend.   We are constantly cloaked in the extraordinary which is present in the ordinary of everyday life.  In a comment on the Ecclesiastes “time reading” (for everything there is a season) John Paul II teaches; “The speaker in the Ecclesiastes reading is not being sincere, but rather cynical and sarcastic.  The meaninglessness of time and the nihilism (Godlessness/hopelessness) of life that he deplores are overcome by answering one question ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Jesus Christ is the center of history.”  So, our human measure of time, getting things done and their importance is really an exercise in futility.  We need to focus on the bigger picture which sets us smack in the middle of God’s reality right here and now and the responsibilities that come with that.  Time is really a lie and can be a crutch which hampers our ability to be who God wants us to be in the now. “(A)lthough our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day.  [We need to] look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2Cor 4:16-17)  There’s really no waiting for heaven, we are in the eternal, right now and the only thing that death accomplishes is a change of location.


          You might have observed that as we look at the liturgical year the dates for the liturgical seasons are not “set in stone”.  These periods revolve around broad periods which correspond to things like the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox (the determination of Easter).  In the early Church there was a sense that we were part of a bigger, ongoing sweep of time, rather than simply making rules for when we would celebrate this or that (politics made Christmas an exception).  That’s why the Church’s calendar really responds to the rhythm of the earth rather than a time table.  As believers we need to embrace the concept that we are in the eternal now, here and now.  It is a change in perspective about the work that the Lord wants us to do.  The Feast of Christ the King is not a date to be kept but a reminder that the cycle never ends and God’s time is always right here and now, not in some far off location that we will reach according to a timetable.  At Christ King we enter the dark of the year but are really present in an ongoing cycle that constantly sweeps us toward the light.  That is the idea which we are expected to live out at every moment of our life in the realm of the eternal, unchangeable timetable of God Our Father.  In the “ordinariness” of our life which is marked by a concept of time that really doesn’t exist, remember to constantly remind yourself that you are actually in the extraordinary all of the time.  If you did that, how would your spiritual life change?  How would you affect the world in a different way? Remember that the extraordinary is cloaked in the ordinary. That’s God’s concept.  What else do you need?


Copyright©2010, Kathryn M. Cunningham, All Rights Reseved.


Check out more about Kathryn’s view of the Faith at: www.atravelersview.org



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