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Fr Peter’s Front Page Reflection Nov 12, 2021

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Allow me to be a little bit morbid just for a moment! It strikes me that with every experience of loss, with every sign of illness, with every hint of age creeping upon us, we become more and more aware of our mortality and the relentless march of time. We all live on the edge of eternity. This sense of impending doom is easily reinforced by the secular media that relishes in the breakdown of law and order and the random acts of senseless violence which are like a time bomb relentlessly ticking away within our community.

Time is strange for us human beings. Our perception of time is affected by our personality, by the activity we are engaged in and by our mental state. If we are depressed time can seem to move very slowly. If we are intoxicated with alcohol we can lose our sense of time. On the other hand, if we are having great fun, time can seem to fly by.

Our sense of time changes as we get older. When we are young time seems to slip by so slowly. I can remember sitting hot and sweaty in humid classrooms after lunch looking at the clock on the wall, a clock that seemed to tick by so slowly – when will the 3 o’clock bell ever go? Growing up, Christmas holidays seem to go on forever and ever – you were almost glad to go back to school at the end of January! When we are teenagers, our body clock appears to be set around a 25 hour day which means teenagers have only two speeds – full speed ahead or fast asleep! It does not seem fair that the older we get the less sleep we seem to need. What’s more, the older we get the earlier we seem to wake up!

Whatever our experience of time, one thing is for certain, in the big scheme of things we don’t have a lot of it. And in our modern Australian culture, we seem to have less and less of it. We are so busy that time seems to slip through our fingers. Days flow into weeks that flow into months and, before we know it, another Christmas is rushing towards us.

That is why this weekend’s readings are quite “timely”. We are coming close to the end of one church year and the beginning of another. Next Sunday is the feast of Christ the King, and the following Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. There are only 41 shopping days till Christmas! So it is understandable that, interwoven in this weekend’s scripture, we get a glimpse of an apocalyptic vision of the end of time.

Whatever stage of life we are at it is important to accept that some day our time here will come to an end. But what is more important is becoming more conscious that every day can lead us to live fuller, more fulfilling lives – perhaps even holier lives! Time waits for no one, so, between now and Christmas identify what is going right in your life and relationships and celebrate it. Importantly, recognize what is not going right in your life and relationships and take the time to do something about it.


Wishing you and yours every blessing for the coming week,

Fr Peter Brannelly

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