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Krónos and Kairós - Time and opportunity -

A wise investment of time

(Lk 21, 25-28. 34-36)

These last three weeks the Sunday Gospel has reminded me of a fantastic book of Holy Scripture, Ecclesiastes. It is an OT book written in Greek, not in Hebrew, which has a very realistic look at life and the world, a look that seems a bit harsh about reality but it is because it has not evaded the greatest truth that can exist in the world. world: death

The book of Ecclesiastes in chap. 3 gives us stupendous poetry that invites us not to evade ourselves and to face with realism and guts that reality of the final moment that we will have to live after the time that we are allowed to live, death.

The cap. 3 of Ecclesiastes is a poetry to time and opportunity, that is, to cronos and kairós. In the Greek text, these two words are used, crónos (in Greek χρόνος) which refers to the time that we can measure with the clock and kairós (in Greek καιρóς), that is, the time lived as an opportunity, the moment that one can live in the chronos, the circumstance that accompanies and makes the chronos live. The hagiographer, the sacred writer, can distinguish this difference because he is aware that time and opportunity in the events of life have and tend to the same end, the final one, that is, everything passes, everything ends, everything ends, and proof of this is death. That is why you can do an exercise of discernment and decision: Live time, the chronos, the minute, the hour or the hours, the time you have to live under the sky in which you are, to live in it, the great amount of opportunities in the time that are presented to you, without missing the opportunity.

The kairos, is translated in Latin by occasion. Occasion is a very important word, in Latin:occasion means the propitious moment for an action, this noun comes from the verboccident which means to fall, die, end (hence sunset: when the sun falls or dies, it sets). Thus, the book of Ecclesiastes in chap. 3 reminds us that what happens under the sun is time, this is limited, but we nevertheless have an infinity of opportunities that we can take advantage of because: "Everything has a moment but each event under heaven, an occasion ". How much time until today have I had at my disposal? Let's not only think about the years that we have, let's also think about the clock time that has been granted to us, the one that we have already had, and the one that I have today. Today, for example, perhaps I have been up for three hours, five, compared to those who are in Mexico, I go further on because I am on the other side of the Atlantic, but in those hours that I have today, in this time that today has been granted to me of life, what opportunity or opportunities have I had, obtained, appreciated and managed to capture? 

We will be able to make a treasure of the infinity of opportunities that are offered to us in time only if we are able to read in them that, an opportunity, because there is a time to love and to hate, there is a time to plant and a time to harvest, a time to seek And time to lose, what opportunity do I get in that space of time that happens in that event? It all depends on how much I have the end of my life before my eyes, how much I believe that my life is the opportunity to acquire eternity, how much I work so that this opportunity to live becomes a treasure for the future and eternity. For this reason, the fundamental question is to ask ourselves and rethink ourselves a thousand times, like the poet Jorge Manrique, the certainty of the advent of death, ours and ours. Unfortunately we are living in a society that lives avoiding the objective and real destiny that awaits us all, rich and poor, wise or foolish, after the chronos, death. Jorge Manrique before the death of his father, wrote a series of couplets, a Spanish reading of Ecclesiastic 3, 1-2:

Remember the sleeping soul,

wake up your brain and wake up


how life goes,

how does death come

so silent;

how quickly the pleasure goes away;

how after agreed

gives pain;

how in our opinion

any past tense

It was better.

Our lives are the rivers

that they are going to give in the sea,

what is dying

there go the lordships,

rights to end

and consume;

there the flowing rivers,

there the other halflings

and more boys;

and arrived, they are the same

those who live by their hands

and the rich.

This world is the way

for the other, which is dwelling

without regret;

but it fulfills to have good sense

to walk this journey

without mistake.

We leave when we are born

we walk while we live,

and we arrived

at the time we die;

so when we die

we rested.

And you may be wondering, but what does all this have to do with this Sunday's gospel? All! it has to do with everything, because the gospels of previous Sundays and the celebration of Christ the King of the Universe want to make us aware that our whole life and that of this world under the sun is an advent.

Advent comes from the Latin adventus, this word is composed of ad, which is a preposition that means approximation and venio, which is a verb that means to come, therefore, advenio, adventus is indicating the proximity of the Lord... his closeness, his arrival. The pre-Christmas Advent is a temporal and ecclesial moment to become aware once again that the Lord has been close since he became a man, sharing with our human condition in everything, including death but not sin, but that later, after his Death, thanks to the fact that the Father resurrected him, can never be separated from us because the barriers of time and space no longer exist. 

But this ecclesial moment in time is not just a memory of what the Lord has done for us, nor is it just a joy because he is among us alive and risen, but it is a moment of awareness that he announced a second coming. He will return, meanwhile the Church cries out: "Come Lord Jesus", and our life, our world, on the one hand, heads towards him in its daily life and tends towards him, passing the barrier of illness, misfortune, even death. death to meet him again, and on his part he heads towards us in the midst of all these circumstances, in a walk towards a bilateral encounter, two parties that walk, and two souls that meet, ours those of the Church figured in a beloved who is preparing to meet her and the husband who runs through the valleys and mountains longing for the meeting.

The gospels in which we read the famous signs of destruction, of what appears to be the end of the world, are commonly called 'apocalyptic', because they anticipate some future situations that can be considered disastrous, but from the believing perspective of the Church of Christ , it is about seeing in the midst of apparently "fatal" "disastrous" events the advent of his Lord, who is approaching us and in the midst of disaster and misfortune, he came and is present, triumphant and glorious, full of splendor and majesty because it is God (the cloud we talked about the last time that recalls the presence and infinite providence of the faithful God who accompanies his people in the midst of the arid and dangerous desert). That believing and community look invites us to look at the future with the CONFIDENCE that the Lord has already come, he has not abandoned us as humanity, despite our sins, since he became incarnate and with this he decided to make it clear that he will never abandon us because even when humanity fatally decided for the life of his son the Christ, he raised him forever and gives eternal life to whoever believes in him. 

This definitive confidence is what encourages us to work, because the Christmas Advent is not only a time to remember, to be happy for what God has done for us, but also invites us to be attentive, since the entire Church, the world it's in advent Like a mother who begets a child and is in advent for nine months, so the world and the Church are in advent, awaiting the second coming of Christ who, as King, will judge when he arrives those who already died in peace and those alive who are present in that chronos.

Advent is a chronological time, four weeks before December 24, and in it we are invited to make kairos, opportunity, occasion of that clock time that we have in our hands. There are two certainties, everything changes or happens everything happens because death is certain but the gospel attracts us and invites us to focus our gaze and attention on the main character of the story, on Christ the King of the universe who, Lk 21, 36, this Sunday's gospel, tells us about himkairos says: "More watch at all times", the sentence begins with an imperative: Watch! that is, be ready, be attentive, be awake at all times, in all kairos. Then comes a question: how is one attentive and vigilant at all times?"praying." 

And it is not possible to keep watch in a Christian way, prayer is required, without continuous prayer you cannot keep watch, praying means having that sincere and interpersonal dialogue with the Lord, in which I can speak transparently with him, commenting on everything what happens to me, without any fear, when my sun, my moon and my stars darken and cease to be signs, that is when those of us who feel that those who should be light become darkness and darkness, or even when we ourselves who we feel that we should be light we know rather darkness (Lc 21, 25); or when on our earth there aredistress (siunojé in Greekσυνοχή)andperplexity (aporia in Greekἀπορία); when so many people will live more in terror and restlessness than the future will be and do not live in the present: "men faint discouraged by terror and expectation of the things that will come upon the world; because the powers of heaven will beupset" (Lk 21, 26, saléuo is to upset in Greek σαλεύω).

So, to pray is to be able to share with the Lord all these vicissitudes of time and the events in time, with sincerity, with the sincerity of someone who is not ashamed to show himself as he is before himself and before the Lord, without masks, when everything it seems to be in suspense or without response, in desolation or abandonment. Watch and pray. Then, only then will this prayer be real, because then and only then "will they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory" (Lk 21:27).

For this reason it is very important to review our prayer, we cannot think that because I already pray I pray, or because I read the Bible I pray, or because I go to mass or go to missions I pray, or because I stand before the Blessed Sacrament even kneeling on Thursdays I pray. No! praying is much more, it is being able to see the Son of Man with glory and power in my discouragement, in my failures, in my anguish and perplexity, in my fears, fears, terrors and restlessness, when everything fails and I tremble before the future and I see the upset world, mine and the one around me. Yes, there, when I see the Son of Man in the midst of my reality, is when I pray. But the word of the Gospel of this Sunday also gives the so that, Lk 21, 36:

"But watch at all times (kairós) praying,

so that they have the strength to escape all these things

and may stand before the Son of Man"

...beautiful text. Only an authentic, sincere, personal prayer is capable of giving us the strength not to fall into the temptation of the men of whom v. 26, who live prisoners of terror before death or before the possibility of losing the goods that they accumulated throughout their lives, or that the future brings misfortune, etc.; only a sincere prayer is the one that can see the Son of Man as our lord and will give us the strength to escape from all terror, from all anguish, from all discouragement and we will be able to stand, not fallen, not faint, STANDING, before of the Son of Man, the Christ, the King, for whom we fight without giving up to find a happy destiny.

For whom I have lost all things and consider them garbage, Saint Paul would say, and as the Gospel of this Sunday says paraphrasing it, because "I have been alert, my heart has not been filled with dissipation and drunkenness, nor with the worries of life because I knew that the final day of my life would come to me without waiting for it like a bond over all of us who inhabit the face of the earth" (Lk 21,34-35).

Among the many wonders of the great work of the Last Judgment that Michelangelo painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in the s. XVI (1535-1541), there is the figure of Christ God, Lord and Judge of history and of the universe who raises his right hand to impart justice. He is the central figure who is surrounded by light and a blue tone that focuses the gaze and draws attention to himself; next to him, immediately and almost being one with him is his mother.

Christ is presented as the center and in the lower half of the fresco, the crowds are divided into 2: those who are ascending to Heaven, who are on the left side, and those who descend into darkness, on the right side. Christ as the point of reference to which the saved tend, that is, the group that is on the left, they are standing and ascending towards their Lord. Many are resurrecting and are represented as corpses. Some angels help to ascend to Heaven, and later, the same people help others to ascend. On the right side are the damned who are being thrown by angels and some people into the Darkness who fall into hell, headfirst, they really seem to be very desperate.'

What caught my attention when I was contemplating these two scenes is precisely that the summoned and saved are ascending on their feet and will be able to face their Lord, as Luke (21,36) warns... "that may STAND before the Son of Man", while those on the right, the condemned are thrown and fall headlong... their condemnation is final.

But it is not for us to be terrified of that moment, but rather to be prepared because the moment, the kairos will be definitive and if we prepare ourselves we will lack time to ascend to be able to look at the Lord face to face without fear. But the Kairós is in our hands, the moment, the event, the opportunity.

I invite you to do the coffin exercise, which sounds horrible, but to the extent that we dare to practice it, we will probably enter into the dynamics of someone who not only SAILS and PRAYS, but also who faces life with the courage of someone who knows they are going straight. to victory. This coffin exercise is simple, when you go to rest, get into the coffin position. Imagine that it is your funeral, that you have your hands together and a rosary has been placed on you, uncover your feet and feel the cold on the soles of your feet, close your eyes and imagine the crucifix and the candle that are next to you and the friends or relatives or colleagues who accompany you... imagine what they think and above all, how are your hands and your heart? What would you present to the Lord if it were your time, your cronos and your kairós to deliver accounts? Dialogue there in that position with your Lord...

They say that Carlos I, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and grandson of the Catholic kings of Spain, seeing his time arrive, moved to a monastery in Yuste, Spain where the Hieronymite monks accompanied him and spiritually guided him until his death. At a critical moment when he found himself on the verge of death, he asked to see and organize what would be his own funeral. This allowed him to further prepare his soul for a peaceful death and reconciliation with the Lord.

Perhaps this exercise might seem cruel or ominous to us, but in reality it is wise and good warriors to calculate the forces we have, plan strategies, analyze our own weaknesses and those of the enemy, and launch ourselves into war with the conviction that Let's go straight to victory! Or do you want to be one of the cowards who think twice? There is no time to waste but only time to prepare to win and to the good investor a few words...

The fundamental question is then, to what extent am I preparing for the advent of the Lord? How am I preparing the Christmas advent, based on what? Do I prepare to decorate the house so that it looks beautiful, do I strive to prepare a wonderful dinner, even to have a good time with the family, to manage the money for the purchase of presents? All of this is magnificent, but am I preparing myself in prayer and conviction that now I have the time and the opportunity to prepare my definitive advent, that of my definitive encounter with the Lord, King of the Universe, to whom I must give an account of my life? and I will not escape this snare? Do I live my present with the perspective of such a decisive future? Do I teach my family with my testimony and my word to prepare for that definitive encounter?

How do I live this preparation? How are the men of this gospel who are terrified of the future or I am already entering into confidence, love and serenity that the Son of Man, my Lord, will find me faithful and loving, prepared to deliver accounts but above all willing and well disposed to "stand upright," with her head held high before him? And not because there is no sin, but because I have always accepted and worked for it. But above all, when I stand before him, I will want nothing more than to embrace him for all eternity with a loving, pious, sacrificial, joyful, sincere, eternal embrace.

And what do you decide to do with the time and opportunities that you still have in your hands today?

Mister! don't let me fool myselfsame @ filling my time with dissipation and drunkenness in the things of this world that pass, so that I can stand before you, without anything weighing me down!

That you only want to let me embrace you in my miseries from now on and then yes, forever...!

Do we sing and pray while we have time?

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