This calendar year of 2024 is called a “Leap Year.” A ”Leap Year” adds an extra day to the calendar year which occurs every four years. This every-four-year occurrence allows us to keep our calendar correct, as the earth rotates around the sun. It takes the Earth 365 days and 6 hours to complete its annual rotation around the sun. Due to these extra six hours per year, every fourth year we add a calendar day to the month of February, which normally has 28 days. This year the month of February has 29 days. Thus we have one more day this year.
In the Broadway Musical “Les Misérables” based on Victor Hugo’s novel “Les Misérables” the first act of the play concludes with the song “One Day More.” In this song, the characters sing about what the next day might bring. With the extra day this year, I have been thinking about one day more. Not in the sense of what will I do with 366 days this year. Rather, how would I spend my time if I had only one more day of life to live on earth?
Why might we ask this question? It seems to me that answering this question can help us to recognize what is most important. Would we reach out to speak with or spend time with those we are closest to? Would we seek to mend any wounded relationships that are in need of healing? Would we review our life journey? Would we celebrate the sacraments of the Church such as Confession and Eucharist? Would we take time to pray? Would we look back on our life and be grateful? Will we recognize the good that we brought into the world? Will we recognize our many blessings? Will we see that God was always with us?
I hope that this little exercise might help each of us to reflect upon the gift of each day and to live each day as gift and blessing. May it help us to celebrate the simple moments of each day, to recognize what is most important, and to live generously in our relationships with God and with our neighbors!
Rev. John P. McCaslin