After many days of celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord and various solemnities commemorating key Catholic beliefs (Pentecost, the Trinity, the Body and Blood of Christ), the church now re-enters Ordinary Time. As the school year wraps up, and the organist and the choir take their breaks, there’s such a temptation to feel like we can ramp down on our piety or any of the practices that make us stand out as Catholics. Then you have to ask yourself whether you would treat any other relationship as such. As God’s adopted children, do we ever take breaks from loving or showing that we do?
Although there are very few prescribed acts during Ordinary Time, this is the time for us to personally discern how we can live the Gospel radically and enjoy the freedom to shape our expression of faith. The church doesn’t have a Stations of the Cross service outside of Lent, but the stations are still there on the church walls. There might not be a big parish food drive, but the poor don’t take a break from being hungry for food donations or for food bank volunteers to help organize and distribute. The Lord is still taking prayer requests, and a prayer and fasting regiment is absolutely in order in petition for our personal needs. This is an opportunity to rediscover the Friday Fast, the pre-mass Fast, First-Friday devotions or late night adoration. The Lord’s heart that burns for us does not dim according to the Church calendar. We should likewise hold a constant desire to grow in reciprocating that love.
I recently attended a talk entitled “Jesus Doesn’t Believe in Ordinary Time”. Despite the provocative title, the speaker took us back to the time of the early Christians and presented excerpts from the Epistle to Diognetus (~A.D. 150) which illustrated how consistently and excitedly the disciples lived out their lives. “They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven…they are the preservers of the world”
A friend of mine once mused that we should call Ordinary Time “The Good Times” for all this time could be. May you have a blessed Ordinary Time in growing your relationship with the Lord and serving all His creation.