Recently an interesting movie came out which I liked so much, I recommended it to Confirmation students. It is Interstellar. The theme of the movie is Einstein’s theory of relativity. Putting it simply, it dramatizes that time is relative. The velocity of time is not the same in same in relation to speed and mass. So time passes quicker on Earth than it does off the planet. In other words, when we are talking about time, we are talking about it specifically as we experience it, because, in other places in the universe time moves differently than here.
In the movie, Interstellar, four days for one person becomes over one hundred years for another, yet each person experiences the respective time they thought they were experiencing: four days or one hundred years.
It is a fascinating study in the relativity of time. God himself cites it through the prophets when he teaches for Him a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. Time, once we go beyond our personal experiences here on Earth is relative.
If we understand this fact, we can understand the reason for our faith.
In today’s second reading, St. Paul teaches that Jesus came at the fullness of time. That is a key phrase.
Jesus came when it was his time and not before. So he did not come during the life of Adam and Eve or any of the Old Testament prophets for it was not His time. However, when He did come, it was the fullness of time. If we understand this ourselves, it should indicate why we as Catholics believe in evolution. Evolution is about one thing, the passing of time and the changes in the world through it. Atheists believe in random biological evolution. Everything evolves as the result of a series of accidents. We as Catholics do not believe this, we believe that somehow God’s hand had a part in leading creation. Bible literalists believe that there is no such thing as evolution. They are afraid of it because they believe that if it can be proved that the Earth was not created by God in six days, then the entire Bible is false.
We do not believe this at all. Evidence clearly shows that there is evolution of some type, certainly not random evolution. It may be intelligent design, but that makes God like a watchmaker, and He is much bigger than that. Intelligent design is a form of reverse engineering to find God. But God is found in so many other ways.
What does this all have to do with you? Everything.
Let me ask you if you believe that you are time travellers? You are you know. I know, you think time travelers as people who live in one century and then suddenly find themselves in another. That is not what you are, except for those who us who lived through Y2K. But you are born in one time and you die in another and throughout your whole life you live through time.
When I do a funeral of those in their 90’s or more, I remind the mourners that this person lived in one culture and died in another. Such a person would have been born when telephones were rudimentary radio was new, television was unknown, movies were silent and cars were just coming into their own. Imagine that scenario: everything we experience as normal was beyond the imagination most of the years of his or her life.
Many of the youth here may not understand that we lived during a time when seatbelts were optional. People taught us that it is a good thing to have them installed in your car because cars back then did not come with seatbelts, remember? Speaking of cars, Captain James Lovell, who commanded Apollo 13 teaches that there is more computer power in your car that was on the entire Apollo 13 spacecraft.
You are actually traveling through time, that is what we call life. You will come to a point when you will live outside of time in eternity, but currently you are traveling through time. You are time travelers.
So what does this mean to all of you. Our Catholic faith is about living, learning and knowing the timeless. Our mission is to testify to timeless truths of the wisdom of Christ to a world that needs to hear them. This is what it means to live the Catholic faith. This is the reason for our morality, it is not so that we can earn our way to Heaven, it is so that we can testify to a truth that cannot be learned by those who don’t understand who we are as humans. We evolve spiritually when we choose the way, the truth and the light toward our final destination laid out for us by Christ.
Jesus came to teach us an eternal wisdom that runs behind the scenes of the lives of everyone living through time. You can either embrace it to experience life or reject it to your own peril, but this wisdom is what we have a calling to know and to live and preach. It is why Jesus is the word of God, why He is the wisdom of God. You and I testify to Him.
You heard this year that some people tried to stage a coup of our Church because they determined that truths to which we testify did not match their concept of the way the world should be. These people are lost in a world of their own making.
Some will say we have to be good so that we go to Heaven and not to Hell. Actually our living our Catholic faith is not about us going to Heaven as much as us leading others not to go to Hell. That is what we do and why we do it. Why, because the next level of time is when Jesus returns to lead those who have pursued this wisdom to His Kingdom of wisdom. Those who reject His wisdom are excluded, but our role is to testify to His wisdom so that won’t happen.
We testify to timeless truths in a world traveling through time. This is why I can read the words of St. Maximus the Confessor from the seventh century and St. Paul from the first because both speak of timeless truths that remain constant in a world passing through time. Just as Einstein’s theory of relativity can explain that time is relative, but the principle of his teaching is a timeless constant.
Equally, the timeless truths remain constant and Christ called each of us to testify to learn them and to testify to them. When we reject the reality of Christ, we also reject these timeless truths and get lost in false understandings of who we truly are.
We are entering a new year and unlike the previous ones especially the presidential inauguration years, this one has great division within it. But our hope is in the timeless reality of Christ. Those who recognize this hope will grow in Christ, those who do not will get lost in the world of division. But our role is to testify to a greater reality than one finds being taught in our world today. A reality you do not learn in a classroom, one that is found in living the wisdom of Christ as we hear Him everyday.
A Blessed2017 to all
Fr. Robert J Carr
Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo of the Canção Nova Community. He is the pastor of Holy Trinity Quincy, MA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube. You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.us Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook