Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
November 19, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings are challenging.
Revelation, a very complex book of the Bible, uses symbols, prophecies and allegorical references to make its point. There are huge bodies of scholarship written in the attempt to interpret these passages.
Our Gospel has Jesus describing what it will be like in heaven – when our human perceptions will be erased and we will finally be absorbed into God’s understanding.
These are BIG thoughts and my mind, at least, needs some more manageable inspirations for my morning prayer. So here’s how I prayed with these readings today.
What both passages share are continual references to time – past, present and future. They reference then-time, now-time, and to-be-time. These passages, and others in Scripture like them, talk about time like this:
- “in the days before” (then time)
- “in the days after” (to -be time)
- “in the day of” (now time)
Today is among “the days after” the last memorable thing that happened in my life – maybe a good thing, maybe not so much. In “the days after”, we spend time with a completed event – learning, savoring, or perhaps regretting and recovering. The “days after” are a time to pray for grace and blessing over what cannot be changed.
Today is also among “the days before” the next big events of my life. So my prayer includes a petition for new and continued courage, hope and enthusiasm for life.
And, most importantly, today is “a day of”. I ask God to help me see and receive the graces of this present moment – not to miss them because I am looking only back or forward. Let me look God square in the eye on this day, which is the only place that I can really find the God Who is always Now.
The entire liturgical year is built on this understanding of time.
- Advent and Lent are “the days before”, the days of preparation, anticipation, imagining, creating, hoping.
- The feasts like Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are “the days of”, days of celebrating, loving, being with.
- The various Octaves are “the days after”, days of remembering, thanking, appreciating, understanding, mourning, forgiving and savoring
Where are you today in the times of your life? It may be in a very different place from what is printed on the calendar. The events of our lives create their own personal liturgies.
No matter where that happens to be, let us meet God there with full and open hearts.
Poetry: from Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot
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.
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Music: God of All My Days – Casting Crowns