Today the sun is shining very brightly, the temperatures are rising, it is warmer today indicating that summer is getting close. The end of the school year is rapidly approaching and will be soon here before we know it. Graduations and promotions have begun and will also mark transitions from students moving from elementary to junior high, to high school or college or even college to graduate work. We pray for all the graduates and their continuing education journey. And the hills are losing their winter green color and transitioning to California golden brown. And now we shift back to Ordinary Time in the church’s liturgical year, not ordinary in the sense of plain, but ordinary meaning we number the Sundays, for we are moving into the 9th week of Ordinary Time.
What in the world does that mean for us? We leave the Easter season and Pentecost behind reflecting on the risen Jesus and move to unfold the continuing mystery of salvation through the scriptures proclaimed on these numbered Sundays of the year, the two remaining feasts, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, God is three in one, (an awareness that God is in relationship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (fondly remembered as the feast of Corpus Christi in former times), same feast, slightly different name. And along the way we celebrate many of the saints of our church, Saint Anthony of Padua, the Nativity of John the Baptist, and Saints Peter and Paul to name a few. When we take time and look, there are many ways to refresh and renew our faith as we anticipate the summer break from school, family trips, or vacations.
Summer is not a time to take a vacation from our faith, but to rest in it in a more relaxed way and experience our faith in Christ. Even though some of the green we see is in the plants and little grass in our yards and the green vesture worn by the priest and the green banners in our churches, there is new life all around us. How do we green up our faith life?
Chicago Liturgy Training Sourcebook offers these thoughts: As Jesus spoke in parables a wonderful way to continue to inspire your life is to be enriched by short stories. You could do some purposeful searching on YouTube, find a spiritual site or story and share those ideas with your friends.
A storyteller that I enjoy is Father Edward Hays. He offers some short stories, reflections and different ideas on how to grow in faith throughout the summer. Check out www.edwardhays.com/haystack-blog.html. He also has a collection of books that are easily purchased, both inspiring and easy to read.
No matter where we are we can rest in God and grow in faith and become refreshed and renewed. Let’s take advantage of the supposedly slower pace of summer and re-discover Jesus, re-discover the power of our faith and prayer.
Blessings, Father Larry Hendel – Pastor