TIME OF THE LORD

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‘For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven’ (Eccl. 3:1)

If  there is  a  time for everything, then it is important to  do  things at its proper time. All the works of God the Father were done at their perfect time. He sent  His  Son to the world at the fullness of time. ‘But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law’ (Gal 4:4). And the  coming  of Jesus  into this world was  with ‘a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth’ (Eph 1:10).

Perhaps the most striking comment about  Jesus  from the common people was the one recorded by Mark. ‘He has done everything well’ (Mk 7:37). It was Jesus’ style of  doing things;  everything at its proper time.

We claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. But our biggest undoing is that  we lack a sense of time. Many of us  delay  the works  needed to procure eternal life  under the  false impression that the door of  Divine Mercy is kept  open indefinitely. We often ignore the  calls to repent,  thinking that  tomorrow is always the  best time to   go for confession. We  celebrate  life as usual, thinking that  death is still too far a thing to  be concerned about. We start quarreling about the  Holy Eucharist exactly when it is the time to   stay closer to the altar. 

There are certain  people whom the  Holy Bible describes as having done the   right thing at the right time. ‘He (Joseph) took the child and  his mother by night and  went to Egypt’ (Mt 2:14).  ‘She (Mary) set out  and went with haste’ (Lk 1:39)  to meet Elizabeth. Joseph and Mary knew that time was of  the essence  in God’s scheme of things.

Had  Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus been delayed  for  a few minutes, the body of Jesus would have been left to eagles, or thrown into the valley of BenHinnom. Their timely intervention to bury Jesus  before Sabbath saved  the  sacred body of Jesus from public humiliation.

Everything has its time. It is wisdom that  helps us  in discerning it. Judas failed to understand that the Master invited them  not  for a routine supper, but to be with him at the time Jesus  accomplished  the  greatest act of love.  And his failure to know the  time of the Lord led him into the  darkness  outside, immediately after eating the bread.  

It was difficult to  know the value of  a confession when confessionals were open at  any time. We lamented about not getting  opportunities  for confession during the pandemic, but immediately forgot that  it can happen anytime in future also.

Do not  nurse any misconceptions about time. The Holy Bible calls such persons fools. ’You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of  you. And the things you have prepared,  whose will they be?’ (Lk 12:20). Jesus advises us to interpret the  present time sufficiently before  we are  led to a place from where  there is no chance of getting out ‘until we have paid the very last penny’ (Lk 12:54-59).

Our Lord knows the time. That is why he came searching for fruits from the fig tree at the time of harvest. But the fig tree  had forgotten that the  master’s visit was due. We too forget that our  days got extended  only because of the intercession of  some other person. 

Lord’s time may not necessarily coincide with our time.  He often comes at odd times. He visits the fig tree even when ‘it is not the season  for figs’ (Mk 11:13). Jesus teaches us that the name ‘Christian’ does not fit a person who produces fruits at a fixed time, during its season and only when the environment is  favorable.

Jeremiah too laments about  his  people who lost the  sense of time. ‘Even the stork in the  heavens knows its times; and the  turtledove, swallow, and  crane observe the time of their coming; but my people do not know the   ordinance of the Lord’ (Jer. 8:7). 

We have lost the wisdom to  know that it is time to return to the  Lord. Perhaps one day we will  know it. Let us hope that  it happens before  ‘the days of trouble come, and the years draw near’ (Eccl 12:1) and we say; ‘I have no pleasure in them’ (Eccl 12:1). When ‘the sun and the light and  the moon and the stars are darkened’ (Eccl 12:2)  in our life, do we think that we will be able to  utilize the fading rays of the twilight  properly? 

As our time and God’s time do not  match, our only option is to align our time with God’s time. ‘See, now  is the acceptable time; see now is the day of salvation’ (2 Cor 6:2). Let us return to the Lord’s barn with the  prayer that  the light of those souls who are yet to return to the Lord be kept alive until the  moment of conversion, for ‘the time is near’ (Rev 22:10). The time when ‘the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the  holy still be holy’ (Rev 22:11).

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