Ordinary Time 2019
The liturgical year is measured in “seasons” of time. First
there is Advent, then the Christmas Season, Ordinary time, Lent, the Easter
Season, and Ordinary time again. Each season has a different emphasis. In
ordinary time we focus on the life, journeys and teachings of Jesus. Ordinary (ordered
sequentially) time is the longest season in the church calendar broken up by the
I have noticed there is an obsession with time for those in
the music industry. Since time is common to all, they exploit this treasure in
their compositions. I am a lover of music, especially music from the 70’s and
80’s. Here are some examples: Time in a bottle by Jim Croce. Time won’t let me
by the Outsiders. Does anybody really know what time it is? by Chicago. Too
much time on my hands by Styx. If I could turn back time by Cher. Time Passages
by Al Stewart. Time is flowing like a river to the sea by the Alan Parsons
Project…Perhaps you can think of more?
Various songwriter’s messages about time takes on a wide
spectrum. From the Guess Who singing: “No time left for me…” to The Rolling
Stones who sang: “Time, it’s on my side.”
I think we would all agree, time is a precious commodity. No
amount of money can buy it. Time is a gift of inestimable value. Just ask
someone on death row or an elderly person on their death bed.
How is it that some never seem to get a grip on time while
others are fruitful and produce abundantly with their life? We all have the
same number of seconds, minutes and hours in our day. Yet some produce so much
while others seem frustrated and fruitless.
Time management is the key. Instead of just floating along
with the current, steer your vessel. Be
disciplined and apply yourself. Don’t just “go with the flow,” rather, create
People ask me all the time, “Where do you find the time to
write 22 books?” I tell them, “I don’t find time, I make time.” There is always something vying for my time including
leisure. But I am goal oriented. I don’t let other things get in the way. Plus,
I’ve discovered “boredom is overrated.” I’d rather apply myself and work than
be bored. Amen?
Same with prayer. Unless you have a goal to make prayer your
priority, time has a way of slipping into the future and prayer becomes an
afterthought. But if you are disciplined and plan things out, your preparation
will lead to purposeful, meaningful, prayerful, fruitful lives. Seize the day
before the day seizes you! After a short time, a disciplined life becomes a lifestyle of discipleship (notice:
discipline/disciple, same root word) and fruitfulness. Then, truly, as the
Stones sing, “time it’s on my side…yes it is!”
The Scriptures speak of time in many and varied ways. A few
examples: “Now is the acceptable time.” “Today is the day of salvation.” “The
time is fulfilled.” “One day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like
a day.” “God gives us time because of his patience, waiting for us to repent.”
Biblically, time is the fabric by which we have the opportunity to come to eternal life. Time is the great opportunity. Time is
the sequential, ordered gift of God.
We gain wisdom by understanding the “shortness of our life.”
Once I visited St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. On the left side towards the
front, a haunting statue: It was the final sculpture of the 80 year old
Bernini. It is a statue of death holding an hourglass and the sand is quickly
slipping away. This statue is a warning to all. It’s timeless message? Time is
quickly passing and we all must use it to prepare for death. We must make the most of the time we have,
because as we the Steve Miller band so rightly sang, “time keeps on slipping,
slipping slipping into the future.” And, “time waits for no one, no not even
you,” to quote the Moody Blues.
What are we to do?
That was the question those gathered at Pentecost asked.
Peter responded, “Repent.” Personal change is the same truth Jesus announced when
he said the time is fulfilled “Repent and believe in the Good news.”
When it comes to time, you have to start somewhere. A great
starting place is making a new dedication of yourself to the Lord. Make time
to listen to Jesus’ teachings and the teachings of the daily Mass. Create time
for prayer. Respond by surrendering your heart to the Lord over and over and
over again many times a day. Turn away from any known sin. Dedicate yourself to
a fruit bearing lifestyle of discipline and time management. Live with Passion
This long season of Ordinary time (green
symbolizing life) can be anything but ordinary if you seize the moments.
We have been given a gift…time. It can’t be held in a bottle because it is always
slipping into the future. Today is yesterday’s tomorrow. Time moves quickly. Time
seems to move faster the older we get. Cher’s wish won’t happen. We can’t turn
We are given great optimism in the Bible: Now is the
acceptable time. Today is the day of salvation! Therefore, keep making a fresh dedication
of yourself to the Lord. Even though time passes, it will be working for you,
not against you. As the Rolling Stones sang, “time will be on your side.”