Many years ago, I listened to a university graduate reflect on his graduation. He observed that as significant as the commencement ceremony had been, the meaning felt real when he turned in his dormitory room key. It was then that he realized his time as a student had passed. It was now time to unlock, to commence his future.
As parents and guardians learn, raising children is filled with many different kinds of ending and beginning times – and the ordinary times in between. We often celebrate when significant eras end and others begin, births and birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and many others. We savor the past, and we look forward.
The present Liturgical Year will soon culminate with the Feast of Christ the King. The following week, we begin anew with the First Sunday of Advent. Ends and beginnings seem bound to each other, time to let the past go and embrace an unknown future.
I believe we have been graced with “life-time” to experience what life means. We are becoming the person God calls us to be.
“I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)
In the Gospel reading for the Feast of Christ the King, Jesus describes the judgment of the nations at the end time (Matthew 25:31-46). It deals with actions in the past.
In the First Sunday of Advent Gospel reading, Jesus advises his listeners to be watchful and alert, as they do not know the end time (Mark 13:33-37). It deals with an attitude toward the future.
I think both readings invite us to reflect on how we live in our present time – the “now” of our daily activity.
In this time of pandemic, we are learning to live with critical challenges. Our faith, rooted in hope and acted out in loving kindness, is a meaningful way to embrace our time with joy. I believe the Lord takes His time with us, ever-present to us.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Prayer helps us unlock what a faithful life means. In our family prayer, let us ask the Lord for the grace of watchfulness. Let us be alert to serving Him by responding to everyone we meet with loving kindness.
About John Dacey
John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.