What Time Is It?

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

November 28th, 2021 – First Sunday of Advent - Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

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Two weeks ago, the Sunday gospel described ‘the end of the world.” This was fitting because we were about to conclude the Church’s year. So, it might appear odd that on this Sunday, the first Sunday of the Church’s new year, we are again offered a description about the end of it all. We might ask, “What’s going on?”

I begin this reflection with a few lines from the brilliant British poet, William Blake.

To see the world in a grain of sand.
And heaven in a wildflower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand.
And eternity in an hour.

This speaks to me of the elasticity of our awareness and consciousness. The mind is not limited to the obvious or what is in plain view. We can do two things at once and think of much more than simple physical reality (which is never “simple.”) For beside physical vision, we also possess spiritual vision, which allows us to see more than what’s before our eyes.

Much the same can be said of our awareness. A second can be measured by a clock but a moment can be thought of as almost timeless. And being fully aware of all that’s happening in a moment is a goal well-worth the effort.

St. Paul writes that “this is the acceptable moment.” What moment is he referring to? Perhaps this moment now! The one that is happening at any given moment of our lives. What Blake refers to as “eternity in an hour.”

One of the primary messages of the Advent season is for us to be as alert as we can to the coming of God’s Spirit. It can happen at any moment. At any time. So, be alert. It could be today. Or right now.

So be vigilant. The Lord is coming. Not just at Christmas when we celebrate his birthday two-thousand years ago, but also at any moment in our life. He said more than once that he would never leave us. And he hasn’t.

And be particularly alert to when God’s Spirit comes through others. Again, where charity and love abide, there God is ever found.  

©David M. Thomas, PhD

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