Good Monday morning to this week 9 of 2022
Little Jonah’s godfather telephones and Jonah picks up. “Jonah, let me speak to your Dad!” Jonah whispers softly, somewhat agitated: “I can’t.” “Why not?” “He’s busy.” “Then get your Mom for me!” Jonah, still whispering: “I can’t do that either.” “Why can’t you?” Jonah says very softly: “She is busy too. The police are here.” The godfather, increasingly worried, asks: “What is going on there? Then put one of the police officers on the phone!” “I can’t.” “Why?” “They are busy, too, and the firefighters are here.” The godfather is really agitated now: “For heaven’s sake what are they all so busy about?” Jonah: “Shh, not so loud. I’m hiding under the sofa with the telephone and they are all looking for me.”
A kairos moment for little Jonah!
The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ ” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” ( Luke 12:16-20 )
What Jesus describes here is a great deal more: a human being who is completely self-absorbed. The linguistic signal of this is that he is presented entirely through internal monologues. This man knows no one but himself. He doesn’t ask about anyone else. He presents an image of absolute egocentricity. The moment in which he sees that his fields are producing an abundant harvest could become a kairos for him, an occasion to think of others—maybe even to think of God. But his orbit is only himself.
So our parable shows us that it is not only profound self-fixation that makes it impossible to perceive the coming of the reign of God—no, even a full concentration on the necessities, plans, forces, and cares of everyday life does the same. The wheat farmer wants to avoid those forces once and for all. But he cannot escape his own orbit!
In the New Testament, kairos means “the appointed time in the purpose of God,” the time when God acts, the kairos is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Kairos used 86 times in the New Testament refers to an opportune time, a “moment” or a “season” such as “harvest time”. I refers to a specific amount of time, such as a day or an hour or as Jesus did, he makes a distinction between “His” time and “His brothers'” time. There are times in hisotry, the kairoi crisis time which create an opportunity for and indeed demand, an existential decision by the human subject, the coming of Christ as prime example or in in liberation theology of South Africa, the appointed time, the crucial time.
In the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, before the Divine Liturgy begins, the Deacon exclaims to the Priest, Kairos tou poiēsai tō Kyriō. It is time [kairos] for the Lord to act’, indicating that the time of the Liturgy is an intersection with Eternity.
This past week started with a kairos moment of a very powerful, dangerous and foolish leader. Yet, this can call forth another kairos moment an “It is time” moment.
It is time for the Lord to act!
Wishing you a blessed start to this new week!