Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tempus Fugit on New Year's Eve

December 31, 2017

Jesus, I trust in you!

To Mary we entrust the New Year
Of the many days of the year, we could not be more attentive to time than tonight, New Year’s Eve. People get very excited over the countdowns towards midnight. I had the privilege of being in Hong Kong last New Year’s Eve. It was my first time to be out of my parish at the end of the year and I noticed how the secular world gave much importance to every minute, every second that passes by. The excitement builds up towards the last 10 seconds of the passing year.

This New Year’s Eve is the occasion for us to consider seriously the reality of the passing of time. Time is running (Tempus fugit). It always has and it always will be. Time moves forward and we can never take back lost time. Once time has passed, it is gone forever. And we cannot claim that there is an infinite supply of time.  Time is limited. We move towards a specific and determined end of time. That end is set in the secrecy of the heart of God the Father. It is a deadline that will never be moved and so every moment that passes by brings us closer to that end. When we say that time is running out, we are literally saying the truth.

This is why time is valuable. We say that time is gold. It is worth more than gold. And we will make an accounting for it before the Lord Jesus when we stand before his judgment seat. At the end of our lives, we shall render an account to the Lord about how we used his graces and the time that he has given to us during life. That is why tonight is the best opportunity to make a year- end evaluation of our lives. Spend time to make a very personal year-end report. What were the graces I received during the year? How did I use them? How did I waste opportunities for goodness that the Lord gave me? What did I do with my time? Was every second well spent? Did I increase in holiness this year? Am I more loving or less loving? Have I become more generous now or have I become more selfish? Am I closer to God now or have we drifted apart this year? Write down your year-end report in a notebook. It would be good to read it time and again so that you may be aware of your progress or regress. This honest examination of conscience is necessary. Remember, we are moving toward the deadline and time is running out.

It sounds like this New Year’s Eve will be quieter than the previous ones because of existing laws on firecrackers. I think that this is better. Firecrackers will not scare off the demons anyway. It is best to confront our personal demons with prayer.  A sincere examination of conscience is the best way to confront the evil lurking within us. And after examining our conscience, let us beg the Lord for forgiveness and mercy. Many of us were busy cleaning our houses in time for the New Year. But have we cleaned our hearts? Have we gone to confession? Have we asked for forgiveness?  Have we settled our account with God? Have we paid our dues to him? Nakabawi na ba tayo sa kanya?

On this New Year’s Eve, our prayer must be: “Lord, teach us to number our days, so that we may gain wisdom of heart.” (Ps. 90:12) Instead of counting the seconds backwards, it is better to ask: what we have done with this time given to us? Do not meet the New Year. The Year is not alive. It is just a measurement of time. Meet the Lord tonight instead. He is here in Church. He is alive and he wishes to engage in a heart-to-heart conversation with you. Spend an intimate date with the Lord tonight. The opportunity of the New Year’s Eve is just right. Time passes away. Why hold on something that eventually gets lost? Only God stays. He is eternal. He is forever!

 “My past to your mercy Lord; my present to your love; my future to your providence.” (Padre Pio) There is nothing else that I ask.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee! 

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