Can We understand the Mystery of Time?

Time is a creature of God. Yet, “As for that day and hour, no one knows, neither the Angels of Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”  Can we understand the mystery of time. 

Gaudium Press, English Edition

Newsdesk (03/01/2022 9:00 AM, Gaudium Press) When a human life comes to an end, it takes on a special gravity, however ordinary that life may have appeared to be. Death – or at least in other times it was like this – plays the role of a correcting lens, showing in its true magnitude the value of each person’s existence before God and his fellow men.

Knowing the exact time of future events is not given to ordinary men. Exceptionally, some saints have accurately prophesied the day of their own death, or times of hardship, cataclysm and grace.

However, in His Lordship, God shows Himself to be jealous in keeping hidden certain more decisive dates. In this way the Blessed Trinity encourages the virtue of vigilance, so cherished in the New Testament.

Being attentive to the imminent return of the glorious Jesus awakens zeal and love, as well as extinguishes in our hearts sluggishness and intemperate joy of life, the sources of so many vices.

For this reason, and to avoid the disciples insisting on asking Him the date of the end of the world, Jesus declares that neither the Angels nor the Son know it. However, this statement must be understood with a certain reservation.

Our Lord’s words mean that He, in His human nature, was ignorant of the day and hour; but it would be incorrect to extend this ignorance to the Son as the Word of God, omniscient with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

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From the divine point of view, however, the picture is different. For the Word of God, time does not exist; by His full and concomitant knowledge, He contemplates the multiplicity of all creatures and the variety of events in a single glance, which immediately and absolutely encompasses everything.

Let us lift up our hearts!

The modern world is being dragged into the deepest, darkest despair by the vagaries of chaos, itself to a large extent organized.

Terrified at the prospect of losing their health, and bombarded by the continuous demands of technology, people easily become puppets in malicious hands.

Thus, many let themselves be guided by the dominant opinion, wandering aimlessly, so that everyone moves in a frenetic movement, but few know where they are being led.

This situation generates immense inner frustration. On one hand, attention is captured by the artificial and seductive glow of electronic screens; on the other hand, the new regime of fear fosters feelings of anguish, sadness, and even dread.

As a result, although it seems paradoxical, death has become futile and meaningless, just like human existence itself. To heal the hearts wounded by the present circumstances, our tender and helpful Mother, the Holy Church, puts excellent means, of full supernatural effectiveness, at our disposal.

First of all, good Catholic doctrine, that teaches us the very high vocation of the human being and, in a special way, of the baptized. To be called to eternal life, in an intimate conviviality with God, is something unimaginable!

And the Mystical Spouse of Christ has a propitious instrument to not only make us learn, but also to taste this luminous teaching: the Liturgy.

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Therefore, the Liturgy of the Word considers passages from the Gospel regarding the end of the world and the return of Our Lord, because to have before one’s eyes the greatness of the conclusion of history, as well as the dazzling and awesome splendor of Our Lord coming majestically above the clouds of heaven, exorcises the gray and tarnished experiences that inocualte the surrounding environment.

Indeed, in contemplating such sublimity the faithful discover the beauty of their own vocation, the divine magnificence, the very high goal reserved for each one.

Let us try, then, to shake out of our spirit the evil miasmas that float in the polluted air of our sad society, and let us raise our mind and heart to the grandiose horizons par excellence.

In this way we will recover the spirit, the emphasis and the determination to seek holiness above all things, and we will fill our lungs with the pure air of hope, which promises us, after the struggles of this life, to reach the peaks of eternal bliss in the company of the Good Jesus, His Angels and Saints.

Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP.

Text extracted, with adaptations, from the magazine Heralds of the Gospel n. 239, November 2021.

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