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The reading from the Acts of the Apostles begin with, "When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all gathered in one place."
"When the time for pentecost was fulfilled..."
"When the time..."
Time is an amazing thing.
We are often told in life to take our time that is to slow down, or not to take it that is hurry up.
We often waste time only to discover we have no time to waste.
We are often told that time will tell yet we are taught from early on how to tell time.
We are always expected to be on time, and never be late; yet how many times have we arrived only to be asked to give them a little more time!
Many of us have a lot of time under our belts and for some time is just beginning.
We are always wanting time to go quickly when we are young, because we can hardly wait for our time to come; when we get older we want time to slow down because we all know our time is coming.
most often in life we are looking for ways just to pass the time.
When death approaches, we all just want more time.
Time is baffling for us. We spend a lot of time thinking about time that has passed or time that will come and yet we know that the past is no more and the future is not yet and the present is always somewhere in between time.
Time is always slipping through our finger tips.
And the more we ponder time, we wonder do we really know what time it is?
Today in the first reading, we discover that God knows perfectly well how to tell time and to use it wisely. No time goes wasted in God's watchful eye.
He is always in charge and makes every moment the right time.
As the people gather for pentecost, the perfect time arrives.
The feast of Pentecost was one of the three principle and mandatory celebrations. Every male within 20 miles of Jerusalem was obligated to go and celebrate.
It was a feast that took place in June which meant it was the ideal time to travel. This explains the large number of people, the international gathering from all over (Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopatamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Rome).
A good time to travel is a good time to travel.
This feast was a feast commemorating the giving of the law to Moses and the people at Mt. Sinai 50 days after the passover, the crossing of of the Red Sea, freedom from Egypt and slavery. The law was given to inform the people how to be godly in their life, to walk according to God's way, to live on God's time.
It was a time to remember God's saving deeds in past time.
It was also a feast of thanksgiving. The first fruits of the harvest were brought forth to the temple as a sign of gratitude to God for the gifts he bestowed. A time to give thanks for God's generosity in the present time.
It was also a time of holiday. No servile work was to take place. Thus, the streets would be packed and people would be every where enjoying this time and having the time of their life in the big city of Jerusalem.
In this moment, when the people were remembering the saving acts of God, the giving of the law, and giving thanks, God sends his Spirit to awaken in the people a sense of a new time beginning. You could say God comes in the nick of time to help people begin to tell time anew.
The time was now for salvation had come.
The Spirit comes and Peter and the eleven are empowered to speak and Jesus is made known, the one who came in the fullness of time to fill time with grace upon grace.
Jesus comes in time to offer salvation in time to free us from the enslavement of time. We are no longer bound by time in Jesus.
This is the lesson of Pentecost: God is never late; God is never early; God is always right on time and that time is always right now.
To receive the Spirit of God is to live in the moment and to take hold of the time offered trusting that if we walk where the Spirit leads, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, faithfulness, and self-control, then time will always be on our side.
In the end, if we trust the Spirit of truth, time won't matter; time as we know it will give way to eternity and in eternity we will all finally be in the fullness of time.
As we celebrate the Eucharist, that fullness of time is made present in us. Each celebration of the Eucharist is a "new pentecost", a new outpouring of helping us learn to tell time, to use time wisely, and to walk anew in the newness of time.