Jesus Christ has come, He is coming and He will come again! Jesus Christ is Lord of All
As we choose to live liturgically, moving through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar, we can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life. Jesus Christ is Lord of All. The real question is not whether we will mark time, but how we will mark time?
Prepare the Way of the Lord. Mark 1:2
CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - The Christian notion of receiving time as a gift from God is one of the many things which make us countercultural. Catholic Christians mark time by the great events of the faith in our Liturgical calendar. However, like so much else that is contained within the treasury of the Catholic Church, the practice must be understood in order to be fully received.
The Church is an "expert in humanity" according to the insightful words of the Fathers of the last great Council of the Church. She "walks the way of the person". That means you and me. The Church, as a mother, invites us to live the rhythm of the liturgical year in order to help us walk into a deeper encounter with the Lord. That encounter lies at the heart of Catholic Christian faith.
As we choose to live liturgically, moving through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar, we can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life. Jesus Christ is Lord of All.
Christians believe in a linear timeline in history. There is a beginning and an end, a fulfillment, which is, in fact, a new beginning. Time is heading somewhere. We reject the sad concept, even present in some other religious traditions, that time is a tyrant entrapping us into an endless cycle which must be broken.
Rather, the Catholic Church proclaims that time is a precious commodity. In the insightful words of St Jose Maria Escriva, "Time is our treasure, the "money" with which to buy eternity." (Furrow #882)
Time matters. What we do with it matters. That is as true of the history of the world as it is our own personal histories. As that wonderful Saint reminded us, "A true Christian is always ready to appear before God. Because, if he is fighting to live as a man of Christ, he is ready at every moment to fulfill his duty." (Furrow, 875)
The question we should ask ourselves at this time is what are we doing with time? Do we choose to mark time by the great events of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ? The final Sunday of the Year, the Feast of Christ the King, is the day when we are invited to commemorate His sovereignty over all men, women and children.
Jesus Christ has come, He is coming and He will come again! Jesus Christ is Lord of All, including time. No sooner than we have celebrated the last Sunday of the Year, the feast of Christ the King, we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent, and begin the time of preparation for the great Feast of the Nativity of Our Savior.
We are moving forward and toward His loving return. The Church, to use the beautiful imagery of the early Christian fathers, was birthed from the wounded side of the Savior on the Cross at Calvary's hill. We are being recreated in and through Him. We have been espoused to Him forever. He is the bridegroom and we are the bride. He will return for us in the great culmination of all time.
Our Catholic liturgical year follows a rhythmic cycle which points us toward beginnings and ends. In doing so, it emphasizes a important truths that can only be grasped through faith. This Sunday is the last Sunday in the Western Church year.
Our Catholic faith and its Liturgical practices proclaim to a world hungry for meaning that Jesus Christ is the "Alpha", (the first letter of the Greek alphabet) and the "Omega" (the last letter), the beginning and the end. He is the Giver, the Governor and the fulfillment of all time. In Him the whole world is being made new and every end is a beginning.
Our Liturgical seasons of our Church present a way to receive time as a continual gift and change the way we actually live our daily lives. Our choice to celebrate them helps us to grow in the life of grace as we say "yes" to their invitations.
They invite us to walk in a new way of life which becomes infused with supernatural meaning; to enter into the mystery of living in the Church as the New World and thereby become leaven for an age which has lost its soul.
Human beings have always marked time by significant events. The real question is not whether we will mark time, but how we will mark time? What events and what messages are we proclaiming in our calendaring? What are we saying with our lives in this increasingly barren age which needs the witness of God's loving plan?
For the Christian, time is not meant to be a tyrant, ruling over us. Nor is the passing of time to be experienced as an enemy, somehow stealing our youth and opportunity. Rather, time is meant to become a companion, a friend and a teacher, instructing us; offering us a series of invitations to allow the Lord to truly become our King by reigning in our daily lives.
Our conscious awareness of time makes it a path along which the redemptive loving plan of a timeless God is revealed and received. In Christ, time is now given back to us as a gift. It offers us ...
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