Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Chronos or Kairos?

In a column of the Catholic Times, a priest university professor, brings to the attention of the readers the understanding of time from ancient Greece:  Chronos and Kairos. Chronos was quantitative, the time we count with our watches and clocks, physical, chronological time by which we are surrounded. Kairos is a special time, qualitative time, opportunity, the moment in experiencing God together. It's becoming part of God's history in time.

How do we meet the Kairos moment in 20l8? Kairos is the kiss from eternity and a movement of grace in the here and now. We need to step away from the Chronos clock that controls all our movements.We live in a time of compulsion to improve our comfortableness. 'Time is money', a record that continues to play in our heads. Necessary if we are to make life comfortable for the elderly so we believe.

The candlelight processions of last year brought big change to society. The evening prayer of Mary the Magnificat became the desire of many of the citizens. Candles illuminated the darkness and leaders were removed.

We need to reflect humbly on  where are we going? Do we want the wealth and glory of the past?  Is it a time we feel the presence of God but not completed presence? Christians are never captivated by the glories of the past but move on to the eschatological future. We are invited to live by looking at the new heaven and earth where the will of God is unfolded.  Not satisfied with our life of yesterday and today. Politicians, business people or religious people who are bound by their own vested interests are not  able to accept God-centered time. 

According to the writer, we have been living with a struggle to break away from the colonial days but are still tied to the Japanese ways. We need to go in a  qualitatively different direction.Conversion of the heart is first and most important but the structure also has to change.

We need to remember the lesson of the Sewol Disaster and our recent government problems.  If our lives and safety are to be replaced by vested interests namely the maintenance of political power or the means of earning more money we are moving away from God's time.

Let's  build a society that welcomes God's time in the poor.Those who are wounded and marginated by social exclusion, those excluded from our church community; we want to get out of the pressure of Chronos, let 's go to the place of life of the alienated, there we will meet Kairos the time of God which is full of life.

Despite the long-term economic downturn, North Korea's nuclear development, the sad dictatorship and the tension in East Asia do not be afraid to ask for God's grace to go in a different direction. As a Jesuit he finishes the article, using the words from the Spiritual Exercises: For both me and our world, God is sweating and constantly laboring (#236).

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