We have left the Christmas season behind, the Feasts of the Nativity of the Lord, Holy Family, New Year’s and last week the Baptism of the Lord. Now we re-enter into Ordinary time on these California rainy days, cool and wet, but not duly uncomfortable. The General Instruction for the Liturgical Year tells us “Apart from those seasons having their own distinctive character (Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter), thirty-three or thirty-four weeks remain in the yearly cycle that do not celebrate a specific aspect of the mystery of Christ. Rather, especially on the Sundays, they are devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. This period is known as Ordinary Time” (GNYLC, 43).
For us Ordinary means “numbered,” not commonplace as in uneventful or somehow not significant. We live in the light of the Resurrection, Christ conquering sin and death so that every Sunday we celebrate our faith in the risen Christ, the presence of Christ among us. Even though we don’t celebrate a particular mystery of Christ, ordinary time gives us the opportunity to enter more fully into the mystery of each Sunday and our faith.
Sunday is the center of the Christian life. In the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from Vatican II, the fathers of the church declared that “Sunday is the Lord’s Day, it is the first holyday . . . and should be proposed to the devotion of the faithful and taught to them I such a way that it may become a day of joy and freedom from work” (CSL, 106). Sadly, many demands, for example, from household tasks, catching up from the work week, sports and more activities distract our focus from the “Lord’s Day.” More and more people must work on Sunday, and the concept of “weekend” has taken on a whole new meaning since the Council. We live in a 24/7 society that seems to run away from rest or Sabbath. We fill each day with as much activity as we possibly can accomplish which often includes Sunday.
In our rich Scriptural Tradition we hear in the book of Genesis that God rested on the seventh day, and we think that we can live 24/7 and not rest. Or feel that we don’t have time to rest from our labors.
Sunday is an indispensable element of our Christian faith, it deserves at least one hour of our time to worship, pray and reflect on all the blessings we receive from God so that we, in turn, can be a blessing for others. Let us pray that Sunday may always be a time for prayer, worship, celebrating the Eucharist with the faith community and give honor to the Lord’s Day and above all have moments of rest especially with family and/or friends..
Blessings in Ordinary Time, Father Larry