There are a number of words in our language that derive from the Greek word Chronos. There is chronology: the order of happenings; chronometer: what many of us wear on our wrists (a watch); chronicle: a story; chronic: a condition that is ongoing. Chronos tells us what time it is.
The Greeks had another word for time, Kairos, which speaks to what it is time for, like time for spring to come, itme to wake up, time to go to Mass, for example. Kairos means a time for occasion or opportunity.
In today’s Gospel, when Mark tells us that Jesus said, “This is the time of fulfillment…” the Evangelist uses the word Kairos. Jesus is saying that now is the opportunity for Grace, now is the time to open ourselves to God’s life. The Kingdom of God is now. Jesus invites us, just as He did Peter, Andrew, James, and John, to help spread His message to others.
One needn’t be a priest or a preacher to do this. Certainly, whatever our calling in life may be, we can pray for the conversion of others. Or perhaps, we can do even more to help someone come to the Lord. We can witness to others simply by how we live our Christian lives.
Next time you look at a clock or at your watch, don’t simply see what the hour and minute are, but thank God for the gift of time. And ask yourself whether you are using it as best you can. Consider for a moment, at least, whether and how you are using Chronos and Kairos to bring about the Kingdom.