Fr. Tim’s Homily for January 21, 2018

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – B

imageJonah 3: 1-5, 10

1 Corinthians 7: 29-31

Mark 1: 14-20


We have a number of words in the English language that come from the classical Greek word for time, chronos:  chronology, chronicle and even chronic [which refers to something that lasts a long time].

Chronos tells us what time it is:  January 21st at 11:15 AM.

The Greeks also had a second word for time, which is kairosKairos means another kind of time which we might call “an occasion” or “an opportunity.”  It tells us what time is for.  Like, “It’s time to do your homework.”

So chronos is about “what time it is.”  And kairos is about “what time is for.”

In the first reading, it was time for the people of Nineveh to reform their lives and do penance, at the preaching of Jonah.  And they did.

Saint Paul tells us in the second reading that “time is running out” –  clock time and opportunity time.  He was warning the Corinthians not to become too attached to the passing things of this world because Christ is coming again.

All of us are going to die one day.  The mortality rate for us human beings still stands at 100%.  And it is not just old people who die.  I know from more than 42 years as a priest that death can come to any one at any time.  The only thing that is eternal is the life we hope to enjoy with God forever in heaven.  But here on earth, the clock continues to tick away for us all.

Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel:  “This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

The time for my growth in holiness is now – not tomorrow, not when I turn 80 or 90.  Now is the moment and the opportunity – the chronos and the kairos – the time for me to open my life more to Jesus and His way of life as His good and faithful disciple, as a grateful steward of His bountiful blessings.

Monday, January 22nd, marks 45 years since the United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in our county.  A lot of years have passed since then and a lot of unborn lives have been cut short and deprived of the gift of time and its opportunities.

In spite of what you did not see in the secular media, hundreds of thousands of people were in Washington, D.C. on Friday to participate in the March for Life, which is in its 45th year.  The theme of this year’s march was “Love Saves Lives.”

Day by day we continue to proclaim that every human life is a gift from God and is sacred and has value from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.  Let there be no doubt:  our compassion, our persistence, our pro-life activities and our prayers are saving lives.  Life is winning in America because “Love Saves Lives.

That is why we seize the opportunity to celebrate Mass today – at this moment in time – in this place of prayer:  a home that the powers of darkness are scared of, a house where Mary is our Mother, where Jesus dwells, and where we are with family,

So, the next time you look at your watch, don’t just check what time it is – chronos.  But use that opportunity, even a brief one – that kairos – to thank God for His gift of your life and for His gift of your time –  and to ask God for the grace, as His grateful steward, to use these gifts well