Walk as Wise People Making the Most of Time

Walk as Wise People Making the Most of Time

Fr Luke A. Veronis

Saint Paul tells us today to “Walk as children of light and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord… Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise men and women, making the most of our time understanding what the will of God is."

Walk as wise men and women making the most of our time.

How many of us make the most of our time each day and every week, using our precious time to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven, seeking after, discerning and understanding the will of God in our lives?

It's not easy. We get so easily distracted. The world demands our attention. The phones we carry distract us 24/7. The secular world divides our lives into various compartments, encouraging us to leave Christ outside of different parts of our lives. Our lives seem so fragmented.

Yet, this is precisely why one of the greatest gifts the Church offers us is the liturgical calendar. The liturgical calendar is a way to direct our day, week, and year focused on the Lord. We approach each day, week, and year according to the Church's worldview, not according to society’s perspective.

Each day our lives begin with prayer. Throughout the day, we are called to turn our attention toward God – at the 3rd hour at 9am when our Lord sent His Holy Spirit upon his disciples. Ask for His Spirit to fill us. At 12 noon, when Jesus hung on the Cross to take the sins of the world, our sins, upon Himself. At 3pm as Jesus said, “It is accomplished” and He completed the divine plan of salvation for all the world. Then when the sun sets we turn to our Lord and cry out “O Joyful Light of the Holy Glory…” We even strive to pray without ceasing throughout the day. We also remember every day different saints who faced challenges and struggles like we do, yet they modeled a noble life, imitating the words of Saint Paul that “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” Thus, each day is sanctified by God.

Then every week we divide the seven days and set aside two days during which we fast (on Wednesdays and Fridays). We consciously choose to adjust our weekly lifestyle in a way where we turn our attention toward Christ. By choosing not to eat what we typically eat, not eating meat or dairy products, we have to be mindful about what we are eating. It’s not that any food is bad. It is simply that we change our diet in order to draw our attention to our spiritual struggle. Fasting twice a week is a difficult spiritual effort. Why are we not eating? Oh! Because we want to intentionally focus on turning toward God!

We also begin each week in a special way. The first day of the week is called the Lord’s Day (Kyriaki), the Day Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and thus, we acknowledge it as a unique day in the week. We purposefully start each week gathering together with other believers, in our community of faith, worshipping our Lord together. We then partake in the most precious gift one can receive – the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We start each week being united to Jesus Christ, being filled with His Presence, gathering together with our Family of God, and then commencing the week with an incredible blessing. This opening encounter sets the tone for the entire week! Now we’re ready to face whatever the week shall bring!

So, our day is scheduled around God. Our week is scheduled around God.

Then, throughout the year we set our calendar around the ongoing fasts and feasts of the Church. The entire year is set up in a cycle based on the life of Jesus Christ. We prepare for and then celebrate every special moment in His life throughout the year. We prepare for these feasts with fasting periods, and then we celebrate the feasts!

Throughout the year, we have four Fasting Periods. Right now, we are in the middle of the Fast for the Nativity of our Lord which began on November 15. We take forty days to get ready to celebrate the coming of God into the world, not only the Birthday of Jesus Christ but the Incarnation of God the Word. We readjust not only what we eat, but more importantly we readjust our attitude and our perspective toward life so that we can prepare for the feast of Christmas. Yes, Fasting Periods can appear inconvenient and disruptive. Yet, that’s the point. Our worldly life and affairs are interrupted by our spiritual endeavors.

We fast and then we feast. We prepare and then we celebrate. We learn to consciously orient our entire lives around not the distractions of the world, and not around the secular calendar of the world, but around what is most important and eternal, reliving the Life of Jesus Christ and walking according to the way of the Lord!

"Walk as wise men and women, making the most of our time as we strive to understand what the will of God is."

Yes, the world tries to distract us 24/7. The world entices us with all its alluring temptations and false promises. Society tries to get us to waste our time on superficial and meaningless pursuits which do not lead to ultimate happiness and which will mean nothing in eternity.

The Church, however, offers a very different path, a way to overcome all these distractions. It offers us a daily cycle in which we commune with God. It offers us a weekly schedule to help us keep our eyes ocused on God. And then it offers us an annual calendar of fasts and feasts, times of preparation and seasons of celebration, throughout the year.

It is when we learn to follow the cycle of the Church that we act as wise men and women, making the most of our time, learning and understanding what the will of God is in our lives!

"Walk as wise men and women, making the most of our time as we strive to understand what the will of God is."

 

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