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Cappella Redemptoris Mater - Vatican Media

Fr. Cantalamessa: Christ at the Center of Time

‘Is Christ also the center of my life, of my small personal history?’

The birth of Christ changed the concept of time, as He became the “central point’ of time, but the fundamental question for each person: “Is Christ also the center of my life?

Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the pontifical household, asked this during the second Advent sermon of this season on December 22, 2017. He spoke to in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel of the Apostolic Palace to Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia.

“The question to start with is simple: Is Christ also the center of my life, of my small personal history? Of my time? Fr. Cantalamessa asked. “Does he occupy in it a central place only in theory or also in fact?”

He explained that in the lives of most people, there is an event that divides life into a “before” and an “after.” Examples: marriage for married couples; ordination for priests; professions for religious.

For the world, the event was the appearance of Christ.  It even changed how we express time because Christ is at the center of time.

“He is present in the Old Testament as figure, he is present in the New Testament as event, and he is present in the age of the Church as sacrament,” Fr. Cantalamessa said. “The figure announces, anticipates, and prepares for the event, while the sacrament celebrates it, makes it present, actualizes it, and in a certain sense continues it.”

Father invited all Christians “everywhere, at this very moment”[!], to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day”

He stressed that this invitation is intended for everyone. And he concluded by reminding listeners that the Church will focus attention on youth in the coming year, especially through the Synod on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment” in preparation for World Youth Day.

“Let us help them fill their youth with Christ, and we will have given them the most beautiful gift,” he proclaimed.

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