The end of the liturgical year brings with it Gospel reflections on the end of creation and the Second Coming of Christ. Every once in a while there is a surge of books about this subject and fans of “biblical numerology” find what they think are secret “keys” to the date of Jesus’ return. They’re not at all inhibited by Jesus’ explicit warning about NOT trying to do this.
This Sunday’s passage from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 13:24-32) makes two points. First, that the Second Coming will be characterized by events that are described in ancient prophecies. Second, we’ll only know it is happening when it does happen. Predictions are useless.
People want to put God on a clock or calendar so they can schedule the Second Coming of Christ. Time and eternity seem to be in tension with one another in the human mind. God gives us each our “time” to spend in creation, and then we enter a completely different dimension that only our imaginations can speculate about. Jesus has promised that He will come again, but we cannot put this on our calendars.
The cycle of time
What we can calendar is Christianity’s continuing liturgical cycle from Advent to Christmas & Season to Epiphany to Ordinary Time to Lent to the Easter Triduum & Season to Pentecost to Ordinary Time again to the Feast of Christ the King and right back again to Advent. And the cycle of sacred time continues.
For most sacramental Christians, this cycle is like the air we breathe. We live the cycle of sacred time, but are often hard-pressed to describe or explain it. That’s why we have RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) for those interested in learning about – and possibly embracing – the ancient Christian faith.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning about ancient Christianity (the Catholic tradition), and possibly joining in the journey of Faith via the Sacraments, then please leave your name and contact information at the office: 612-529-7779. Fr. Paul Jarvis will contact you (or yours) about any questions or interest you (or yours) may have. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; please remember to put “RCIA” in the email’s subject line.
After he has an idea of who and how many are interested, Fr. Paul and Fr. John Schmidt will create a schedule of twice-monthly R.C.I.A. gatherings, some of which parishioners at large will be welcome to join. Often the RCIA journey is tied to the liturgical calendar, with initiation sacraments received at Easter. This year at St. Bridget’s, sacraments will be conferred after Easter, when catechumens/candidates and the parish mutually discern they’re being ready.
A helpful summary of RCIA can be found online by web-searching “RCIA for Adults Explained”.