Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 September 2012
Dear Friends in Christ,
Most of us, I suspect, keep multiple calendars, and we make plans for important events in our lives by the week, month, and year. These events — in the past, present, and future — we often think of as a time line. This much is so obvious that it doesn’t occur to us that the very concept of linear time was unknown in most of human history and is a consequence of divine revelation which discloses that the universe is created, not eternal, and that the created cosmos had a beginning and it will have an end. Time itself was created by God, who chose to live in time by becoming man and living and dying for us to redeem everything created from ruination — including time. In the sacred liturgy we have the intersection of time counted on a clock and the fullness of time at which the Word became flesh and redeemed time, and so we have a liturgical calendar to order the celebration of the sacred mysteries that make present to the Church in every time and place the saving events of the past and allow us to participate now in the glory that is to come on the Last Day when time as we know it will cease to be.
These are among the many reasons why the Church invests such effort in the calculation of time and the loving care of the liturgical calendar, and that explains why even the way the Western world counts time by months and years is the result of a proclamation by Pope Gregory XIII. The civil calendar followed by most of the world exists because the Catholic Church wanted to be sure about the proper dates for the celebration of Easter, and this in turn reminds us why the Church is so concerned with remaining mindful of dates in salvation history. Here are some dates in the next two months of which I hope you will be mindful:
+ Monday 3 September is the feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great (d. 604)
+ Friday 14 September is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
+ Friday 21 September is the Feast of St. Matthew, Evangelist and Apostle
+ Saturday 29 September is the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels
+ Tuesday 9 October is the Feast of Blessed John Henry Newman (d. 1890)
+ Thursday 11 October is the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council and therefore it is also the Opening of the Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI
+ Monday 22 October is the Feast of Pope Blessed John Paul the Great (d. 2005)
Put these and many other such dates in your calendar along with reminders about volleyball games and doctor’s appointments and scheduled oil changes. All of time is sacred.
Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. All time belongs to him and all the ages. To him be glory and power through every age for ever. Amen.