Time to Act: Weekly Message for 01-01-2019

Dear Friends in Christ,

It’s always a surprise to bump into people whom you knew as children – now to find them in the full bloom of young adulthood. They remind us how quickly time passes.

The liturgy in the New Year can send that same kind of reminder.

After the feasts of Christmas and Epiphany, the rhythm of Sunday Masses quickly shifts to the public life of the adult Jesus, beginning with his baptism in the Jordan. How quickly Our Lord seems to move from manger to mission.

The liturgical shift can be disconcerting. We might prefer to stay and savor the serenity of Bethlehem with Jesus. But life moves on. He needs to preach the good news and attend to souls.

This dynamic helps teach us the value of making the most of time. For the time we have in this world is the time we have to become saints and to help others become saints.

That’s why even in times of trials, tribulation, mistakes and scandals, we need to keep our eye on the ball. Getting distracted by the bad news around us is a trap we want to avoid.

Instead, we do well to stay focused on what we can do for the glory of God and for the benefit of others – today. “Seek first the Kingdom” (Matthew 6:33).

That notion might be a good idea to keep in mind if you still need a New Year’s resolution.

This year, it might be worth dedicating less time to the news and more time to the Kingdom, through prayer, the sacraments, and works of charity.

For inspiration you might consider our Retreat Guide on spiritual growth, “Seasons of Change.”

The liturgy presents Our Lord as moving quickly into action — a good example as any to start the year right.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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