To God every time is now

Getbehind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” [Mk 8:33]. In rebuking Peter, Jesus makes the point that God is beyond our understanding, beyond our knowing; it is not for us to question God, for we are His creatures, created in His image to love and to serve Him.

Black Hole

Black Hole

Our physical lives are measured by the passage of time, a steady beat, second by second, moment by moment, day by day, that begins at the moment of conception and continues only for as long as God has determined it should be. Each second of our life lasts exactly as long as the prior one; and one second two-thousand years ago lasted exactly the same as one second today.

We see time as a linear concept, inexorably moving from one moment to the next, never slowing nor stopping, always moving forward, never back. We see the past as memories of what has been, the future as visions of what might become, but we live in the now.

The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. In 1905, Albert Einstein introduced his Special Theory of Relativity, which declared a law for all motion. Einstein posited that the combined speed of any object’s motion through space and its motion through time is always precisely equal to the speed of light. Since light waves use all of their motion to travel through space at light speed, they have absolutely no motion through time.

Thus every photon that has ever been produced exists in an ageless state. Or more simply, the universe ages but light does not. Scientists tell us that we can approach but never travel as fast as or faster than the speed of light. They have also proven that as a body approaches the speed of light, time slows down, inversely relative to the speed of travel.

Science has also proven the existence and nature of ‘black holes’ which rather than being empty space consist of a great amount of matter packed into a very small area – imagine a star ten times more massive than the Sun squeezed into a sphere approximately the diameter of New York City – resulting in a gravitational field so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape, and thus time within it stands still.

We are temporal creatures; we are conceived, born, live, and eventually die, ever at the steady beat of time. And it is precisely for that reason that we cannot understand or know God for He exists outside of time. We may glimpse at the variability of time through greater understanding of the speed of light and black holes but that tells us nothing of the timelessness or the nature of God.

To God, every time is now, there is no past, present, or future; there is only the eternal now. God told Moses “אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ʾehyeh ʾašer ʾehyeh, I AM WHO AM” [Ex 3:14] a clear statement of His eternal nature, ever being, without beginning, without end. And it is His timeless nature that most prevents us from truly knowing God for it defies all temporal and scientific understanding. We speak of eternity as a very long time but the truth is: It is no time at all.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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