IN, OR OUT?
Our Time, and the redemption of Kronos, part one.
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by[a] the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” (John 17: 14-19)
So, what’s so new about the “new year”?
Every three hundred and sixty-five days, give or take a fraction of a minute, folks go batty about the arrival of “the” New Year. Multitudes gather in Time Square, NYC, to count down the coming to earth of an artificial sphere of light, a luminous ball that comes down to the midst of a crowd who are caught up in a frantic and superficial euphoria, as they count backwards from ten to zero, as they usher in … what?
Fireworks explode into color and shape upon the night sky, filling the crowed with pseudo-wonder; after all they’ve seen these “lights” before. These “lights” are short-lived, maybe one to five seconds, then, all that is left of them is a burned-out piece of residue that plummets down to the ground to be swept away the next morning by the municipal clean-up crews. After the “big show” the night sky returns to its dreary darkness. After the hugs and the shouts of, “Happy New Year”, often aided by the exaggerated consumption of the participants’ stimulant of choice, the “same old same old” settles like a deflated blanket of compliance over the majority of last night’s revelers. The “grind” of profit and consumption ramps up again to its not so subtle driven urgency. Elderly men and women remain in the prison of loneliness, some in fancy and luxurious “concentration camps”, for they are sore reminders of the limitation and dependence that awaits their children and grandchildren, if they have any grandchildren, since these are often seen as inconvenient. Other elders remain in the loneliness of a little tenement room, or a cheap, merely for profit so-called “home”, or in an isolated cabin in the Appalachian territory, or, somewhere where we don’t have so see their broken bodies, or their wrinkled faces, all reminders that, unless we commit the ultimate act of selfishness, we too will arrive.
The abortuaries will continue their work of death in 2017. The children that are murdered there will continue to be denied even the most basic of recognition as human persons, being denied a dignified burial, while they are discarded as so much bio-waste, having been killed in that place where a child should be most secure and loved, the maternal womb. Cowardly men will continue to run away from their husband’s and paternal vocation and responsibility, leaving women alone to deal with the aftermath of their mutual irresponsible gratification, with all the accompanying “fireworks”.
We will continue to fret over wars and rumors of wars. We will continue to play “the blame game”. Fingers will continued to be pointed to someone else so that we don’t have to accept our failures and our lack of engagement in the mission of living the God-given gift of fullness of life. Resolutions will be short-lived, as every happens each year. The train of Kronos will continue to move down the line with us riding in it. We will come to realize that the only perceived novelty this year brings is a little more ache in my knees, a couple of more wrinkles on my forehead, fewer children playing at the park, some rehashed promises from professional politicians, more ambiguity from our spiritual leaders, and perhaps, one or two new songs from the band that is happily playing for the dancers on the deck of the Titanic. So, what’s new?
For a while now, I have made peace with the fact that I am weird! I am the guy that confuses folks when, somewhere at the end of November, I greet them with a hearty, “Happy New Year!” Many look at me for a fraction of a second with a look on their face that says, in a nonverbal way, “What’s wrong with this guy?”, or, “Alright, what is he up to now?” Well, there are so-called new years” and there is the New Year.
Hang in there and meet me at the next part of our journey of the redemption of Kronos!
Father Omar A. Huesca