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No Time Boundaries in Christ

Christians, the year-long wait for Christmas is over! But not too fast - our celebration continues. We must dismantle the tree and return the decorations to their storage boxes. But not the Light of Christ. Don't tuck that back in the attic with the decorations. The Light of Christ must keep shining and take root in your hearts – without time boundaries.

In mid-November, I read a New York Times article about the passing of 'time.' The journalist described the fast pace of Time. He said, 'Three weeks left in the year, but don't be fooled: December has its unique and peculiar velocity.' I thought about that briefly and agreed that Time is more treasured as the year-end closes, but Time moves fast, not only in December. Time is critical in our everyday lives, especially as we age and deal with health and the frequency of financial responsibility.

Think about it – in the past 24 hours, more likely than not, you have thought about how life has been in the past year and how life will be when the clock crosses to the new year. And I noticed that, even if we don't feel settled to move on, Time continues. "Time" is everything – it waits for no one – precisely the New York Times journalist's point. The Good News is that Time is redeemable.

The New York Times journalist explains it this way, "Time is composed of past, present, and the future - each distinct from the other, yet each is an expression of the same concept. And you can only understand one alongside the others." He is right about this relativity. The past helps to understand the future.

In today's gospel, John points us to the divinity of Christ through the cosmic view of Time, beginning from a heavenly/spiritual perspective. He said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. All things came into being through him." John knits both poetic style and theology of the incarnation story tightly to the beginning and further to what we can relate: Light, Darkness, and the Word - the first things before creation. John uses double meaning to see the multifaceted aspect of Jesus' birth.

 So, he begins his introduction of Jesus Christ, telling us, "In the beginning was the Word." He returns to Genesis 1 and says, "What has come into being was life, and the life was the light that light shines in the dark." With those words, John points out how our time-bound world and eternity co-exist in the person of Jesus. You are probably thinking, 'How so?'

It is like this: Before Jesus became a human - born to a poor, dedicated couple in a lowly stable in Bethlehem, he had worked with God to create dirt, water, air, and all things that form life as we know it.

To follow John's teaching is to lay these 'visions' of Light and Darkness and the Word alongside each other. When I did, it became more apparent that John is pointing us to Jesus Christ - the Logos – the Word – which dwelt among us. His Light spreads to the darkest corners [of our hearts] and consumes it, uniting those on whom it shines. By your baptism, this Light shines on you. Are you prepared for the beams of this Light to shine on some darkness that you hope no one notices? We have about 12 hours before the year ends. Here is something interesting I want to end with. The New York Times collected a few pieces of advice, or "Resolutions." I paid attention to four:

  • Feel what your body is saying, and stop trying to think your way through your feelings.
  • Be proactive with your health by getting tests and establishing baselines.
  • Before doing something, ask yourself, "Is this something that someone who loves themselves would do?" [I can't think of anyone loving themselves who would not care for themselves].
  • Life is too short not to tell the people you love that you love them.

As you seek guidance for the times ahead, may your visions and prayer be that God purifies your conscience in 2024 and beyond, allowing Christ's Light to shine through you! HAPPY NEW YEAR!