Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest
September 23, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we read about time, that elusive framework that binds our days. We are so conscious of time, still it defies all our efforts to define or control it. It lumbers when we want it to skip. It flies when we long for it to tarry. Once it has passed, we wonder where it went. We find the long, vibrant years compressed to a distant, gossamer memory.
Time can create in us a sense of urgency, a deadline for us to make a mark on its surface. But Ecclesiastes counsels us to be patient, telling us there is a time for everything – a segment in our life story for us to plumb each emotion.
As we read through this antiphonal list of life’s realities, we are conscious of the ones we would rather eliminate – the downside of experience. But the scribe suggests that even life’s shadowed side serves to hone us for eternity.
In our Gospel, Jesus is conscious that he is coming to the end of his time. As many of us do when we are feeling unsure of ourselves, Jesus asks his disciples what people are saying about him. They respond in glowing accolades – Elijah, the Baptist returned from the dead, the Christ, Son of God. But Jesus knows it is not a time for accolades. He rebukes them with a somber forecast of darkening times.
Even Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, experienced time’s shifting waves. Praying the Gospel daily, living with Jesus through his highs and lows, is the steady fulcrum in our own uneven seas.
Poetry: from Burnt Norton – T.S. Eliot
These are the opening lines from Eliot’s long poem. I love Eliot but he definitely challenges his reader. If you are up to the challenge, here is a link to the whole poem. ( I find it best to read his poems in small doses, reflecting slowly on the depth of his suggestions.) http://www.coldbacon.com/poems/fq.html
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Music: In His Time ~ CRC Worship