In these days, millions of people accept the first day of January as the beginning of the new year, regardless of religion, race, or language. They exchange cards for wishes for a long life and a Happy New Year. Of course, most of them perform this duty just as a custom, without any regard for the significance of the mystery which we call Time. For many people, time, hronos, is passing away. The passage of time cannot be stopped or even slowed down-either by the most powerful dictator, by the most intelligent man, or by the miracles of modern science.
Time has no pity for the innocence of childhood, or the beauty of youth, or the power of man who has matured; nor does it respect the white hairs of the aged; nor does it pay attention to a man’s position and standing. Everything in time fades; everything in time is degraded; everything in time is destroyed.
Perhaps this was, what inspired the wise writer of the Ecclesiastes, in the Old Testament, to say “Vanity vanity, all is vanity.”
Exactly what is time, my dear Christians? Time is the measure of our lives. When we cease to exist, so does time. Many philosophers divided time into three parts; past, present, and future. We live only in the present. That is all we can comprehend. The past is something which has disappeared. The future is what is unknown and uncertain. In faith, we believe in an eternity, yet we can not conceive of it by measurements of time, because once we limit it by any type of measurements it ceases to be eternity. Therefore, for us, we comprehend only the present, that one undivided moment which is running as I am writing. The use we make of this moment is our price for eternity. The great question for us, therefore, is how to best use this moment.
In the Middle Ages, people were constantly reminded of time by symbols of death placed in every room and in every street. These symbols were reminders that the present for mortal man was limited, and that a day was coming, when man would leave this earthly life. The new symbols of time, my dear friends, are clocks. Clocks today, govern our lives. We cannot live in modern society without the use of some type of timepiece. The clock should do more than remind us of the time to wake up, or to sleep; the time for an appointment, the time to go to church-or even the time when we expect to leave Church. The clock should also remind us that with each passing moment, we are a little older. And while we are expecting the next hour to strike, we might never hear it.
St. Basil, one of the most brilliant of the Fathers of the Church, said, “Time runs, and waits not for him who is late.” Our days are rushed. The lazy man is passed by. The use or misuse of time can not be changed or corrected.
So, My dear friends, do not postpone until tomorrow whatever is important. Tomorrow may never come, It does not exist. The only thing which is real is the present, and after that, eternity.
May the New Year 2020 and Blessings of our Lord be with all of you.
With love in Christ,