At Just the Right Time
Preparing for the Fourth Sunday of Advent: Two Days before Sunday (Year A)
Psalter: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Old Testament: 2 Samuel 7:18-22
Epistle: Galatians 4:1-7
God of promise, you have given us a sign of your love through the gift of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who was promised from ages past. We believe as Joseph did the message of your presence whispered by an angel, and offer our prayers for your world, confident of your care and mercy for all creation. Amen.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children (Galatians 4:4-5).
Time passes by and moments move quickly. There is the passing of time and there is the time that matters. The Greeks had two words for time—chronos, and kairos. Chronos was the word used that referred to ordinary time, the movement from hour to hour and days to weeks. Kairos denoted special events and significant happenings. St. Paul uses kairos to refer to God’s time. He tells the Galatians that when the time (kairos) had fully come, God sent his Son (4:4). In other words, Paul is stating that when the time was right, God sent his Son.
Paul does not speak of just any time, but God’s time. He does not state that Jesus was born to Mary at a random time, a kind of “dumb-luck” moment as an accident of history, but rather at a time of God’s own choosing, a time when human history, and more particularly, the history of Israel had reached its zenith, a certain divine-human moment, when God would begin his great act of salvation. The birth of Jesus began the great Christological moment that would bring the salvation of the world. Advent is a reminder to us that God acts on our behalf in his own time. We have not been abandoned and left to our own devices.
In the midst of a world seemingly out of control, God has made it clear that, when all is said and done, God will have his way and the entire world will see the salvation made possible in Jesus. God has seen to this deliverance by raising his Son from the dead. Jesus was born, crucified, and raised in the fullness of God’s time. We live in the time of God's fullness as well, and God will use us if we are willing.
In the passing of time (chronos), we live in God’s time (kairos). Advent reminds us that our time is more than just time.
PRAYER: Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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