The Church Calendar.
This weekend we celebrate the second Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Is "celebrating" and "Ordinary Time" a
contradiction in terms
? Why would we "celebrate" the "ordinary"?
Last weekend, at the Baptism of the Lord, we ended the Christmas season and started the first week of Ordinary Time (technically speaking, the Baptism was the first Sunday of Ordinary Time but, as a feast, it is never celebrated as such). So what exactly is Ordinary Time?
First, let's define what it is not. To do that, we'll revisit the Proclamation of Epiphany: an ancient custom of the Church - developed before paper calendars became popular - which told the people about the major feasts and seasons of the Church. Here is the Epiphany Proclamation for 2020:
Know dear brothers and sisters that, as we have rejoiced at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, so by leave of God’s mercy we announce to you also the joy of his Resurrection, who is our Savior. On the
twenty-sixth of February
, and the beginning of the fast of the most sacred Lenten season. On the
twelfth day of April
you will celebrate with joy
, the Paschal feast of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the
twenty-first day of May
will be the
of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the
thirty-first of May
, the feast of
. On the
fourteenth day of June
, the feast of the
Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
. On the
twenty-ninth day of November
First Sunday of the Advent
of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom is honor and glory forever and ever. Amen
Ordinary Time, the (sometimes) 33 weeks (since this is a leap year, we were guaranteed 34 for 2020) that don’t fall under the “strong” liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter. It marks the longest time of the Church calendar. Unfortunately, as it is derived from the Latin phrase
Ordinalis tempus per annum
, more correctly translated as “Counted time of the year”, the term has gained a connotation in today’s society as meaning “plain” or “the usual”; without anything especially interesting going on. In terms of our spiritual growth, nothing could be farther from the truth. I think that the Church tries to remind us of this by the use of the liturgical color for this season: Green. By taking the color that growing living things hold (how especially necessary for us to remember during winter!) it also indicates that, as the period in which we live most of our lives in the faith, it is also where most of our growth occurs. Powered by the penitential and hopeful messages of Advent and Lent, energized by the joyful and glorious signs of Christmas and Easter, Ordinary Time is meant especially as the time given to us to put these messages and signs into practice in meaningful and concrete ways. Through a confident and courageous witness to the Good News – which is something that we always live in, no matter what the season – we reflect the trust in how the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus works for our salvation.
During Ordinary Time we are called to accept the invitation to attend to our own growth as well as those placed in our path by the Holy Spirit so that it truly can be a time of life, hope, love and peace.
The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.
St. Gianna Molla
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on Friday, January 17 at 3:00PM