John 15: 16, 17).
We are the ones who decide whether we use time for the bearing of good fruit or allow it to become a tyrant who frightens us as we fruitlessly try to resist his inevitable claim on our perceived youth. This act of choosing rightly, daily, helps us to develop a disposition; a way of living that involves the proper exercise of our human freedom aided by grace.
When time is perceived as a gift from God and welcomed as an opportunity for bearing the fruits of love and holiness, we learn to receive it in love and perceive it as a field of choice and an environment for holiness. We choose to fill our lives with love and pour ourselves out for the God of love. When we live this kind of life, Jesus can find a home within us from which He can continue His redemptive mission, in time.
The ancients were fond of a Latin phrase "Carpe Diem", which literally means "Seize the day." For we who are living in communion in Christ Jesus, that phrase can take on a whole new meaning. We always journey toward the "Day of the Lord", when He will return as King.
We should seize that day as the reference point for all things on this last week of the year and the Feast of Christ the King. We can live our lives as though His day is the milestone and marker for all that we do, revealing the path along which we become new, beginning now - because it is.
Almost two thousand years ago the ancient Greek writer, Seneca, wrote: "It is not that we have so little time, but that we have wasted so much of it" St. Paul wrote to Greek Christians, centuries later in Ephesus: "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men (and women) but as wise making the most of the time." (Ephesians 5: 15ff).
As we consider the timeline of God's unfolding plan, the redemption of the whole cosmos, the God who gives and governs time, invites us to re-dedicate ourselves to living differently on this great Feast. We are to live as though time really does matter.
We are invited by grace to give ourselves away for others; to imitate the One who gave Himself for the entire human race. We are invited to pour ourselves out as Jesus did for us. If we live life this way, when we face Him on that final day, we will do so with our arms full of gifts borne in time. These gifts will have paved the way for eternity.
I suggest that it is no coincidence that the Feast of Christ the King and the last week of the year pass through the "secular" Feast of Thanksgiving. There is no separation for the believer between the secular and the Sacred. In the great event of the Incarnation and the fullness of the Paschal Mystery, all is made new.
We do not bring God into time; He is the Creator of time. In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Eternal Word through whom the universe was created entered into time to re-create it from within! We are invited by grace to come to acknowledge this mystery and then receive his creature time as a gift, a good, to be given back to Him through living our lives in Christ for the sake of the world.
Thanksgiving is a great Feast made even fuller in meaning for the believing and practicing Christian. The word "Eucharist" means Thanksgiving. Now we are called to walk through this last week of the year and reflect on the Kingship of Jesus Christ.
Then, we will walk along the way of faith into the new Liturgical season, Advent. We are invited to prepare ourselves and the world of our own time ready for the final coming of Christ the King. On this last week of the Church Year, let us remember that every end is a beginning - because in Christ the King, Thanksgiving and Advent become a way of life.
Jesus Christ is Lord: Time to Move From Thanksgiving to Christ the King to Advent.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Thanksgiving, Christ the King, Advent, Time, Treasure, spirituality, holiness, Opus Dei, St Jose Maria Escriva, eternity, Liturgical Year, Deacon Keith Fournier
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