Many among us, Maltese, would have heard the saying, “Ferha bla temma”. I often wondered what the word, “Temma” means. It is not tama; it is not related to hope. It is not tmiem (although close in root).
Today someone explained the difference between Temma and Tmiem. What a beautiful word, “Temma” is. It is similar to “Fulfilment”. So, if tmiem means “finished”, temma means “complete.” It also gives an alternative meaning to Christ’s words, “Kollox mitmum.”
And why am I pondering on these words now?
We are at the end of a liturgical year and on the threshold of Advent. Many know of Christmas but very few seem to remember the significance of Advent.
Advent, like Lent, focuses on a journey. The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. For a myriad of reasons that journey was steeped in challenge. But despite the challenges, by the end of their journey the protagonists were far from finished; on the contrary they were the main conduit for the fulfilment of a great prophecy. the world witnessed the first Maranatha’ and a new journey began.
In our life we pass through episodes when we are ready to throw in the towel; to say, “that’s it. I give up.” If ever there was a dangerous phrase it is, “I’m tired.” We know this from trekking. Silly mistakes, even fatal ones, result from tiredness or from a feeling of futility.
I love advent. It helps me set the tone for the year ahead. I’ll reflect on this during the coming four weeks until Christmas. I’ll reflect on this and on the power of perseverance.
Life’s a journey, one step at a time. There are no destinations because our journey is a perennial one. We live in the footsteps of others and others will live in ours. What will our legacy be?