by Lesle Knop
Tomorrow is Leap Day. Reminds me of our high school’s annual “girls ask the boys” Sadie Hawkins Day dances, a tradition that originated in Ireland when St. Brigid of Kildare persuaded St. Patrick that women could propose to their men every four years on Leap Day. You go, girl!
More leap year trivia: Children born on Feb. 29 are called “leaplings” and are generally given March 1 as their “official” birthday (because it is tough planning grade school birthday parties otherwise).
Imagine the dysfunction among our elected officials trying to decide what to do with the extra day that results every four years from the earth’s annual rotation around the sun.
Politics is the reason August (Augustus) and July (Julius) both have 31 days. It would have caused a furor if one of these months had one day more than the other.
Before the decrees of Caesar, Egyptians recognized the calendar problem. They split the year into 12 equal portions for a 360-day year and solved the leap year problem by adding five fun festivals at the end of every year. Kind of like making up for snow days.
Our global community, without the internet to indoctrinate the planet, agrees universally on the four-year occurrence known as Leap Day.
Another universal, or “catholic,” understanding is that Christ is the center of our lives and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.
We believe that God’s love for us is the connection between the love we experience and the power we need to live for Christ.
St. John Paul II said that there are two dimensions, horizontal and vertical, to the Christian life. Vertically, sacraments, sacred Scripture and prayer represent the means to grow in our relationship with God.
Horizontally, community and personal witness are how we share Christ with those we meet. At the intersection is our love for Christ, the center of our existence.
When we take a “leap of faith,” we trust the outcome of an action. This idiom originated when the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said that since we cannot observe God with our eyes, we must have faith that he is there.
Throughout the Bible, we see evidence of people who placed their trust in God: Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Peter and many others. St. Paul in the Second Letter to the Corinthians tells us: “For we live by faith, not by sight” (5:7).
Christian stewards all over the world have been witnesses to this truth — taking a leap, stepping out in faith and trusting God.
Many donors this year to the Archbishop’s Call to Share made gifts of their “first fruits,” trusting God that more would follow. For Christian stewards, perhaps every day should be “Leap Day.”