Time is now, the Lord is presenting to all of us yet another precious gift called time. Do I have an agenda before hand so as to benefit from it? What history do I request God to allow me the energy and opportunity to make good use of God’s time here and now!
First Reading: Numbers, 6:22-27
This was a liturgical prayer done in the temple while concluding the celebration. Blessings mean to ask some one of importance to impart divine favor on the interested. People still believe that if a man of God imparts a blessing or a curse, then it will be effective. The power of blessing rests with the will and power of God. The priest is mainly an instrument to pronounce the word through which blessings pass. The blessing contains the Word bless, keep you, shine on you, be gracious, un-cover his face, bring you peace. Today is the world day of Peace whereby the Holy Father teaches the youth to be visible instruments of Justice and Peace as a fundamental condition for world harmony. Peace is God given gift. We have to avoid evil, possessiveness, grabbing and selfishness. Lets be a people that avoid wars, dissensions, divisions and hatred.
Second Reading: Galatians, 4:4-7
The truth is the centre of the whole gospel. After the birth of Jesus, we can address God as ‘Abba Father’. Those who accept Jesus and his gospel, God become their Father. If we are all children of God, if we all have received the Holy Spirit, then we are brothers and sisters. Are our behaviors looking like from the children of the same origin?
Gospel: Luke, 2:16-21
The gospel today shows us the importance of listening to the message of the gospel. How do I want to welcome Jesus? As shepherds? As Herod? As citizens of Bethlehem? The shepherds do not find anything extraordinary but inside that innocent baby, God is present. At times we want to see extraordinary things so as to believe; instead a true disciple hears the message and goes after it. It is the normal lot that is biblically associated with God’s project. Elizabeth, Zachariah, Mary, Joseph are all ordinary people. To be able to work with God we have to get uses to small disappointments. We have to be people of peace. Yes, you can be Jesus’ person suppose you allow HIM to guide you. In any case, avoid trouble like disease, starvation, addiction, confrontation. See your person in a mirror and be happy with yourself because you are the real image of God. Gn 1:28. Your are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so preserve your title. Feed your mind with new knowledge and revise what you studied years past. Do not be malnourished intellectually and spiritually. It may even be time to up grade in your Catholic faith as well. Do you have a confessor? Why not look for one? There are still some of them waiting for you to assist you throw away your sins. You can as well listen to Catholic Radios for your soul’s food; it may be of some help to you. This is the year that the Lord has made for us. Let us walk it as men and women of the New Testament. Long ago we walked in darkness, now we have seen the light. Yes with faith we want to march 2019 in gladness because Jesus Christ is our companion even today.
Peace is the way for walking 2019: Time is forcing us to move towards uncertainty of the future and we get ourselves panicking. As you can see, we are now in 2019 for those who were both prepared and unprepared. There may be some excitement around us but it will end with little gain unless the death and birth of years is planned by us with the eyes of God. The movement of time is not routine; its history being written in words, actions and deeds. I am sure that as you read this, you have also your age in front of you. Are you happy with the history so far made by you? Is society happy to have you around or are you in fact a problem to yourself and others? Some of us can as well think of being good; but the truth is that they are good for nothing. If you are a Christian; remember that quality time is a moment of grace because it brings about salvation. “When the fullness of time came, God sent his only Son to be born of a woman” Gal 4:14. Time and ages are fulfilled by the very fact that God in incarnation came down into human history. Eternity has entered into time. Every day you embrace marks the fullness of time because Jesus Christ is in it.
Often we think of time as a formless container which brings no significance with it. It’s not so. Time can be measured with precision and calculated with clocks and calendars. It’s in this framework that history builds your plans and availability to God’s grace. 2019 is not any year. It is quality time because it is the year of GOD. God the Father wishes to create us anew.
God the Son is still ready to redeem us; He desires to be with us face to face. God the Holy Spirit is with graces in plenty for us. Are you ready to have time for HIM? Even if you still feel confused, know that Jesus desires to bless you. Allow me to demarcate with you some steps for a way forward during 2019.
The first step could be: LORD TEACH US TO PRAY.
Dedicate this year to God in prayer. Take your joys and sorrows to HIM. God is 24hours available and as HE listens, He as well acts in your favor. Are you intending to keep yourself so busy that you have no moment to be with God as you have already done the many years past? Make a difference. Change the style and have time with the one who loves you most, your God. Do you know that you can join in perpetual adoration in some churches next to our busy streets? Do you know that you can tune in Radio Waumini for Rosary, know your faith, Waumini soul food, morning devotion, Holy Mass and healing music? Just move in and you will like it as time goes on.
The second step is: FORGIVE US OUR SINS AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US. Make 2019 a time of giving all as encouraged by the Apostolic Exaltation of Pope Francis on the Synod of the Youth and the future. Time is now, do not wait for anything more. How long will you co-exist with sin? Stop defending and protecting bad habits and evil acts. They are your enemies. They will end up destroying you and all you have accumulated all these years. You can decide to live for peace. You have already tried friendship with trouble; why not accept a change for a new heart with a new spirit? You can be a trouble free zone in 2019 if you so wish. Suppose the upheaval is your family tree; present it to the Lord Jesus. He is ready to heal.
Third step: HAVE AN AGENDA. You may have been nomadic in as far as planning of your time is concerned. Drop your pride and have an agenda for your activities. Set time limits and stick to it. If you do not have an agenda, the devil may easily plan one for you. Always have quality reasons for what you are doing whether alone or with others. Time planning is wisdom in practice, thus a gift of the Holy Spirit. Do not miss it in 2019. You can make it a point not to allow people to plan for you what you call your own time but at most to plan with you. The political environment ahead of us must be embraced with common sense, patriotism and brotherly love. Who knows, in case political elections are anytime this year; we need to be on the watching side.
Forth step. IDENTIFY A SCALE OF VALUES. Not everything that glitters is gold. You want to be qualitatively happy? Set priorities and allow God to bless them. These values are the same as virtues. You may say that: You do not want to wake up late in 2019, borrow money and incur debts, get drunk, reckless driving, shouting at individuals, being greedy on food or things, avoiding sacraments, being dishonest. You can say you want to perform excellent at job, be loving and caring to all, make some savings for a quality asset, listening to God’s voice, taking care of your health, improving your spirituality and academics. It’s important to select and after choosing, you stick to what you have decided. Good resolutions lead to discipline and balanced life. This is in fact the happiness humanity is searching for year after year. If you cooperate with God, 2019 can be a year of favor where those who have been blind can now see, where the lame can walk, where prisoners are set free because this is the Lord’s year of favor.