How many of us feel that, in one's life, precious time has been squandered? I know that I do, sometimes with painful regret. When I look back over my life, both recent and further into the past, I cannot help but think of missed opportunities, conversations that I should and could have had, hands that I could have held and helped. Such realization can weigh heavily. The cause of the time squandered? If I am honest, and take ownership: mostly me-my fatigue, my lack of boldness, my selfishness.
St. Peter, in today's second reading (2 Peter 3:8-15), very mysteriously tells us that "with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day". In the midst of the guilt and discouragement felt over time squandered, there is a ray of hope. With our Lord, perhaps the time can be "caught up". If I offer the time to Him, He Whose love is powerful enough to "compensate", what could have been can somehow otherwise be. As you can tell, this is rather difficult to articulate (and it certainly does not let me off the hook for striving to be a better, more courageous, and more selfless steward of my time!).
St. Peter continues his letter: giving us hope, "The Lord is patient with you"; putting everything into liberating context, "we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home"; and encouraging us to live in this light: "Beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation".
Advent is, amongst other things, an invitation to honest evaluation of our use of time, as we rejoice in the Lord's salvific patience and we look forward to time to being lovingly seized by eternity.
With you in hopeful longing,
Brother in Christ
From the desk of the Rector