By Omar Aguilar
"There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1
Thus begins the third chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes, a brief reminder of how brief life is, that everything has its place and its time.
We recently celebrated the Feast of Pentecost with thirty-one people receiving the sacraments of initiation in my community, a wonderful celebration where the Church received our new brothers, children, youth, and adults. They have heard the voice of Jesus and have joyfully approached the Church to be baptized, confirmed in the Holy Spirit, and receive the Holy Eucharist.
The 2022-2023 catechism cycle has been arduous. Thank God, we are now in a complete state of normality. We have worked hard, made some mistakes and above all, we have seen the love and mercy of God pour out in all the families. With so much effort and joy, they have faithfully brought their children to the weekly classes. As director of Religious Education, my responsibilities are many and varied, from planning and logistics to program development and sacramental preparation. The job easily becomes a year-round, non-stop mission. And I don't mean to complain. On the contrary, I am lucky to do what I love. Working in the Church is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
All this work is combined with the blessing of being the host of “Perspectiva Católica” a weekly program on EWTN Español that we launched this January. So, between the parish and TV studios it can be said that I am extremely busy and blessed.
But even so, sometimes I must remind myself that there is a time for everything, and not everything is labor. We also need a time to stop, a time to turn everything off, a time for precisely that, to make time. It seems like a tongue twister, but how important is it to stop, take a pause to reflect, to give thanks and see all the good of God among us.
Some days ago, I felt overwhelmed by all the work done and that which still needs to be done. We had not yet finished the 2022-2023 cycle. Yet we were already in 2023-2024 mode. I felt the need to stop, like I never felt before. It was not about taking vacations or planning a trip or activity. It felt different. I just wanted to stop time for a bit.
But how do we stop time? It's not possible! that's the obvious answer.
But it is possible in our time. We are chained to a schedule and a calendar. Our lives move to the rhythm of a planned schedule, meetings to attend, goals to meet, projects to plan, birthdays to celebrate and graduations to attend. We go on and on.
What if one day we just let time pass?
A few days ago, I faced this frightening question. So, I got out of the yoke of busyness for a few days. I turned off the outside world to allow myself to live in the moment. I took time that included long nights of conversation with my wife and children. They almost when on until dawn. We ate breakfast for dinner and dinner for lunch. It was a time to clean our garage, taking all the time in the world. We also went to Mass, finally without rushing. We enjoyed a baseball game (go Rangers!). We took the time to watch a few movies. It was a time to laugh without looking at the clock, a time to let the night turn to day and make the day as long as possible.
These days off were above all a moment to thank God for his love, to see and appreciate all the good things he gives me every day.
What profit have workers from their toil? The author of Ecclesiastes ends by asking this. I found out that if our labor and all the time we spend laboring do not lead us to see God in everything and everyone, then what good is what we do?
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