The ancients were fond of a Latin phrase “Carpe Diem”, which literally means “Seize the day.” For we who are living in communion in Christ Jesus, that phrase can take on a whole new meaning. We always journey toward the “Day of the Lord”, when He will return as King. We should seize that day as the reference point for all things and live our lives as though His day is the milestone and marker for all that we do, revealing the path along which we become new, beginning now – because it is.
Our Catholic liturgical year follows a rhythmic cycle which points us toward beginnings and ends. In doing so, it emphasizes an important truth that can only be grasped through faith. This Sunday is the last Sunday in the Western Church year and we celebrate the Feast of the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the Sovereign King.
Then, no sooner than we have celebrated the last Sunday of the Year, the feast of Christ the King, we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent, and begin the time of preparation for the great Feast of the Nativity of Our Savior.
Our Catholic faith and its Liturgical practices proclaim to a world hungry for meaning that Jesus Christ is the “Alpha”, (the first letter of the Greek alphabet) and the “Omega” (the last letter), the beginning and the end. He is the Giver, the Governor and the fulfillment of all time. In Him the whole world is being made new and every end is a beginning.
Our Liturgical seasons present a way to receive time as a continual gift and change the way we actually live our daily lives. Our choice to celebrate them helps us to grow in the life of grace as we say “yes” to their invitations.
Human beings have always marked time by significant events. The real question is not whether we will mark time, but how we will mark time? What events and what messages are we proclaiming in our calendaring? What are we saying with our lives in an age which needs the witness of God’s loving plan?
Our conscious awareness of time makes it a path along which the redemptive loving plan of a timeless God is revealed and received. In Christ, time is now given back to us as a gift. It offers us a field of choice and a path to holiness and human flourishing.
As we view time with this lens of faith, we discover that life is a pilgrimage to Life. The Lord invites us, beginning now, to participate in His loving plan through His Son Jesus to recreate the entire cosmos. Time becomes the road along which this loving plan of redemption proceeds.