How many of us feel that, in our lives, we have wasted precious time? I know that I do, sometimes with painful regret. There can be a lot of “shoulda coulda”. With more time nowadays to look back over my life, I cannot help but think of missed opportunities, conversations, hands that I could have held and helped. The cause of the time wasted? If I am honest, and take ownership: mostly me—my fatigue, my lack of boldness, my selfishness.
St Peter, in this Sunday’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 wasted, there is a ray of hope. With our Lord, in fact, perhaps the time can be “caught up”. If I offer the time to Him, He Whose love is powerful enough to “compensate”, what should have and could have been is somehow not lost. This is rather difficult to articulate (and it certainly does not let me off the hook forstriving to be more awake, more courageous, and more selfless regarding 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 includes 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.
Yours in our Lord,
The Rev. Dominique Peridans