Christ's Mandate, the Mystery of Time & Joyful Faithfulness!
Anonymous Priest Sermon | The Daily Knight
And all who heard marveled at the things told them by the shepherds.
Brethren in Christ our new-born Lord!
Behold, the end of this year and tomorrow it will be a New Year! How amazing! And we are so blessed to be celebrating this final day in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of All Time which unites us with the apostles, martyrs and legions of saints across the ages. Celebrating this Holy Sacrifice we find ourselves in continuity with the apostolic Tradition of the Church – we know that we keep the same faith the apostles transmitted to us from Our Lord and we are bound to transmit to our children.
As this Holy Sacrifice is threatened now with extinction by those who want to construct a new modern church – severed from the Apostolic Tradition – we realize that we must have courage to defend the truth and assure the continuity of the Catholic Faith.
Our Lord has given us this mandate: “keep everything I have commanded you” and our New Year resolution must be to do just that – keep the Faith in fidelity to Christ.
Brethren, we end and begin another year in our life. How many such endings and beginnings have we already experienced... yet whether it's been a few or quite many –the end of the year and the coming of the new one is special and fills our hearts and minds with deep reflections on the passing of time.
We celebrate the new years’ night with joy and merry-making, yet we cannot escape but be struck by a sudden realization: a year has passed and a new one will begin. And then, inevitably, we wonder: what does it all mean to me? And our reflection leads us to recognize, first and foremost, that this day and the New Year – is all a gift from God which we must receive with gratitude. And God’s gift is always a blessing and that means utterance of good wishes; wishing what is good to others.
A blessing is God's wish of goodness for those who receive it. In the Holy Scripture those blessed are called Happy! God wishes only good for us! And when God pronounces His blessing, He always makes it a reality! This is the reason we traditionally exchange best wishes as New Year begins, for we desire to share God's blessing and we hope that everyone will receive it with joy. So this unique moment of ending and beginning makes us acutely aware of the reality of time.
We repeat with such deep reflection: "Another year has passed! How time flies!" Time has always fascinated man; and still remains a mystery! Who knows what time is?
Already the Ancient Greeks, just as do contemporary scientists, have tried to fathom the mystery of time. We cannot do any better than St. Augustine who, paradoxically, offers us the most famous phrase about time. "What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know."
Meditating on time as a fundamental dimension of reality marked by passing, St. Augustine knew only one thing for certain: time is created by God and is priceless! This is confirmed by our Catholic Faith: time is God's gift for us, so that we might use it to discover the meaning of life and strive to attain eternity with God in heaven.
When we remark: Another year has passed - we also realize that life on earth finds its taste and meaning in the mystery of its passing away. It is because time flies we understand how we must respect time and be grateful for it. And so a person of faith never curses time and its fleeting nature but values time as a priceless gift.
The great Polish Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, hero of the struggle against Communism has said: "People often say - time is money; yet I say - time is love. Money is temporary, but love lasts forever."
How much happier and more meaningful will this end of the year and the birth of the new one be for us, is we look upon time with the eyes of faith - time is love! For Cardinal Wyszynski further explained: You can give to the coming new year in your life a deeper value and meaning. It all depends on your approach to life and to time! And so this day, we are given the opportunity to deepen our appreciation of life by approaching the mystery of time in a Christian way.
St. Augustine gave us another brilliant insight into time teaching that: "time is people; for people make for good or bad times." And here we stand before the second mystery, organically linked to time - our human destiny.
Today we wish everyone all that is good and hope for peace in the world. Yet our hearts are troubled by worry and uncertainty about the future. Our anxiety is justified as we see how the modern world appears lost in its way. The world wants peace -and yet is torn by endless wars. The promises of science to create a paradise on earth just do not happen to become real. Confidence in bright and happy future seems to be waning, as entire societies anxiously ask: where is this world going?
Our reflection on the meaning of this unique moment of ending and beginning inspires in us the desire to do as much good as possible in life. No one knows what tomorrow will bring; yet we know that tomorrow will be what people will make it to be. Still, our reflection would never be complete without experiencing the link between the mystery of time and faith.
We recall the Gospel of John attesting so powerfully, that in the Mystery of the Incarnation God entered time: “the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.” Thus we end and begin a year not alone–we are not just hopelessly lost in time. We live it and experience it with God for through time and in time, God wishes to deify us – to draw us into the mystery of His love in the Trinity. St. John assures us: to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.
This is the meaning of time viewed through the eyes of faith. Time is a blessing granted to us so that we might become children of God. This is why it is so precious and we must use it to do what the Psalm teaches us: Sing to the LORD; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day. That’s how we want to end this year and begin the new one tomorrow: praising God and giving thanks for His infinite love and gift of salvation.
Brethren in Christ our new-born Lord, behold, the end of this year and tomorrow it will be a New Year! How amazing! We are so blessed to celebrate this special day gathered before the altar in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of All Time. This day inspires us to meditate on the mystery of time; of our human destiny and of our faith. This day joins together dreams of a better tomorrow, with worries about the world and the Church. Yet this day sends us a benediction - thus a blessing - God's best wishes to each one of us! May we receive this blessing with joy and gratitude! For God desires to give us the gift of joy!
So let us end this year and enter into the New One with hope. We do not journey through time alone. Through time, God leads us along the path to salvation. As God blesses us, so we want to bless one another.
Allow me to extend to you my sincere wishes for the New Year coming tomorrow: first to all of us faithful Catholics: may we continue to rejoice in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of All Time and the Sacraments of the Catholic Tradition unmolested by forces of evil. And to each one of you and your families may the Lord bestow abundant graces! May you enjoy in the New Year good health of body and soul, peace and serenity of heart and may each day be filled with happiness that comes from being God's children. Happy New Year to everyone! Amen.