|St. Joseph Pignatelli, S.J.
Titus 2:1-8, 11-14
Psalms 37:3-4, 18, 23, 27, 29
Past, Present or Future?
One of the most amazing features of our wonderful lives as human beings is the fact that we are bound by, moved by, and immersed in “time.” We can think about what happened yesterday, imagine what tomorrow might bring and, at the same time, live in the present. Many words have been written about just how to juggle all of that and whether “knowing where you’ve come from,” “living in the present moment” or “thinking ahead” should take pride of place.
The portion of the letter to Titus chosen for today talks about how to live in the present: “temperately, justly and devoutly.” And it tells us what we wait for in our future: “the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Christ Jesus.” But what might be missed in our neat “time line” is a fact “from the past” that remains effective in the present and propels us to our future: “the grace of God has appeared.”
The deceptive simplicity of this statement uncovers for us the revelation of Jesus as God’s presence among us. This “simple fact” has changed many things, including the way we relate to time. In Jesus, God’s grace (presence, strength) is no far-off, occasional visitor. Neither is it “once and done,” or “someday far away.” God’s grace has appeared (hidden in Jesus of Nazareth), appears each day (hidden in faces and events all around us as well as within us) helping us to live “temperately, justly and devoutly,” and will appear as the Lord lets us see his glory face-to-face.
Now we can answer with amazement, but without fear: “are you
living in the past, the present or the future?” In Jesus, we are
living in all three. “Jesus Christ: the same, yesterday, today
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