A New Year, Has it a New Meaning for You?
Time is passing us by imperceptibly. The years follow one another and we would not know what year it is, were it not for the information abounding around us about its pending arrival. The New Year 2017 is already here and we all hope it will be better than the one before it.
All of us were born at a particular moment in time, and entered the present world, inside which we will grow, develop qualities, knowledge, and abilities. Eventually, we will run the period of our stay here, and will disembark into the unending eternity, which is our permanent and natural abode. But, what is the substance of time, which we all feel we know the meaning of, and yet if we try to describe it to someone else, we find it quite difficult, and unable to describe its nature? The difficulty lies in the fact that time is so evanescent, it has many phases. Events are transient, they come and go, and they form the Past. Events expected to arrive, form the Future.
Finally, if the present was always present and would not move into the past, there would be no time, but Eternity (St. Augustine, “The Confessions”). For the people of the World (those without spiritual pursuits), time means material success of one form or another. On the other hand, for the faithful Christian, time is the most valuable gift given to us by God. The Son of God became man in time, “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). And Jesus Christ worked His liberating mission in time, and made reality the salvation of man. For each and every one of us, our time on earth is meant to be in the Arena, In the Stadium within the life of the Church, training for Eternity.
From there one becomes “a son of light”, a friend of the Saints and familiar to God. He lives and works, so he can come to know Christ in his life, and adorn himself with Christian Virtues. Yes, time has great value, and we, the people of God, should make the most of it. St John Chrysostom says: “If you spend your money or even waste it, it is possible for you to gain such in the future. But, if you lose your time, it is very difficult that you will be able to find it again”.
A New Year has been given to us, so we can work for our Spiritual Perfection. This involves: 1.The Inner Transformation of ourselves, which incorporates the Christian Virtues ourselves into our character. In this battle we are not alone, Jesus is there to protect and strengthen us: “I am with you always, even to the end of ages” (Matt 28:20). “I do not pray for the World, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours” (John 17:9). 2. To generate Missionary Activity, which spreads the saving message Jesus Christ, brought to the World: “Go into the World and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).
But how is it that we have reached this deplorable state of affairs, where the Message brought down from Heaven by the Son of God and which fired the hearts of His Disciples to spread the Gospel to all Nations, is only occasionally heard, and is not as a major item of our Christian life? This state of affairs has to be reversed. We are not like the people who have no spiritual interests. We have been selected to be the “light of the World”, and the “Salt of the earth”. Our life should be a life of effort and struggle, and we will succeed if fighting in the Arena.
Source: Lychnos February / March 2017