May 17, 2016

Back to the Ordinary or extraordinary?

As the Easter season has concluded we are back to the long cycle of what is called, in liturgical language, "Ordinary Time."  No big Feasts are pending as we move forward:  Christmas is a long way off, as is the thought of Advent, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.  In the months ahead, the next two Sunday's recall the mystery of the Holy Trinity followed by the Feast of the Holy Eucharist - Corpus Christi.  Then summer is quickly upon us and other than the fourth of July, not a Church related celebration, and the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary in mid-August, we journey through months of the liturgical color of green.

Yet, "Ordinary Time" is not same-old-same-old.  While, at least on Sunday's, the Masses may seem a bit routine, each week the readings change and on occasion are actually progressive in the case of the Gospel.  One week builds upon a theme established from the previous one.  What does it mean to live our Christian life in the world today?  How can I be a faithful disciple of the Lord; a good Catholic in today's culture?  Ordinary time provides us a season in which to reflect on those questions.

In our Gospels we hear of the miracle stories of Jesus, his parables, his teaching, his earthly life.  How he was perceived by the crowds who heard and saw him.  Then during the week, we hear of our saintly brothers and sisters more than during the Easter or Christmas season for example.  The honored martyrs, confessors, missionaries and spiritual doctors of the Church.  Our heroic brothers and sisters who set for us mighty examples to follow as we move from day to day in our Christian journey.  While summer is usually a season of vacations and the longer daylight, at least up here north of the equator, it can also provide us more time to read and reflect in prayer and study on the teachings of our faith.

So, let's not let this season go by without entering the richness of our Christian/Catholic faith as presented in our weekly, and daily if that is your practice, liturgical celebrations.  Find a good book to read, explore the Catholic Catechism in its richness, make time to pray more say over the scriptures before Mass begins or on a daily basis.  Pray more often with your spouse and family, learn more of your Catholic faith.  We can make ordinary time a busy and productive season.

One place to start may be with the website of the American Bishops:

There is a wealth of material on this website about many of our issues today, the scriptures, Church teaching and policies, marriage and family life.  All this might well lead you to other inspiring sources for information. 

So, don't let this time pass.  We can move the seemingly ordinary and make it truly extraordinary.  May the Holy Spirit, poured out upon us in baptism, confirmation and our recent celebration of Pentecost, strengthen us for the journey through life.  

Peace in Christ, and as always, more will come . . .