REFLECTION: Have a good sense of the liturgical year PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 November 2014 13:03

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

We have just ended a liturgical year with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Christ the King. We are now beginning a new one with the season of Advent, the proximate preparation for the birth of Christ.

The immediate thought that comes to mind in this transition of the old and new liturgical years is that while we should have the mind of ending well and also beginning well, we should neither forget that this cycle of life is meant to catapult us to the eternal life where there will be no more changes of seasons and shifts of days and nights.

In eternity, there will be no more past nor future. Everything will be in the present, with everything either resolved properly in the bliss of heaven or unresolved in the never-ending pain and anguish in hell.

It would be good if we have a deep understanding of the significance of the whole liturgical year, so that we can have a functional sense of purpose and direction as we go through it, avoiding getting entangled, distracted and lost along the way.

We can say that the whole liturgical year presents to us the whole mystery of Christ and his message, and the different aspects of Christian life together with their requirements. How nice it would be if at any given time, we have a global picture of it, know where exactly we are in that picture, as well as a roadmap to lead us to our goal in life.

We should be quick to discern what is being asked of us, what is expected of us as we go through the messages of the different parts of the liturgical year. We should somehow feel that there is progress taking place in our spiritual life as the year moves on. To be sure, the liturgical year is not simply a passage of time. Some growth is expected.

In this regard, we should be ready to set specific goals that are appropriate for that part of the year we may be in. We have to have a clear idea of what are needed to reach those goals. We should come up with strategies and alternative plans, just in case unexpected or undesirable things happen.

In these times, we cannot afford to be casual in our attitude toward our spiritual life, which is true in all the other aspects of our life. I remember that during my childhood, I never heard my parents talk about budgeting. Life was so simple then that the concern for money was not that felt. Not anymore now.  You don’t budget! You simply will perish in no time!

Also we have to be wary of the increasing number of things that can grab our attention and lead us to all sorts of distractions. Now it’s imperative to have a good system of traffic management of our attention, otherwise we will just get lost. We need good traffic signs around, (read, a good sense of priorities), so we would be properly guided in our highways of life.

With Advent, we are asked to prepare ourselves well for the coming of our Savior. We have to elicit in ourselves a longing for Christ who is our “way, truth and life,” the very pattern of our humanity, the redeemer of our wounded humanity.

With the Christmas season, we are happy at the birth of Christ and we follow closely his hidden life that is also full of meaning for us. This part somehow serves as a foundation for our adult and mature life that will be filled with trials and challenges. A happy childhood redounds to a happy adulthood.

With Lent, we are made to face our wounded humanity and to heal it with Christ, ultimately with the cross through his passion and death. We have to be quick to learn the art of interior struggle, fighting temptations and growing in the virtues. We will be taught how to value suffering and how to suffer. With Easter, we will be filled with the joy of the resurrection, the final victory of Christ, and also of ours with Christ. We will somehow be taught how to maintain a life of sanctity that is not only personal but also apostolic.

The Ordinary Time of the liturgical year presents to us in greater detail the different virtues we have to learn to live. We will be constantly reminded of our duties as a true child of God.

Let’s always strive to have a good sense of the liturgical year!