Let’s Take This “Ordinary Time” As A Time To Reflect On Our Blessings
As the last hectic weeks of the academic year have turned into the somewhat slower (at least for many of us) pace of summer, our Church calendar has also turned from the Easter Season back to what we call “Ordinary Time.”
Ordinary Time marks that time of the year “in which no particular aspect of the mystery of Christ is celebrated, but rather the mystery of Christ itself is honored in its fullness, especially on Sundays” (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, paragraph 43).
In other words, while the Advent/Christmas seasons focus on the Lord’s Nativity and early manifestations; and the Lenten/Easter seasons concentrate on Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection; Ordinary Time does not have a particular emphasis but reflects the fullness of the mystery of our Savior.
However, the very title “Ordinary Time” is a misnomer. If we consider it, no time with God is “ordinary.” Our God who is always pouring out his love, grace and mercy on us, just for the asking, doesn’t customarily do things in a merely ordinary way.
This summer the Sunday Gospel readings are from the Gospel of Mark. Mark’s is the shortest gospel and scholars believe it was the first to be written. It pictures Jesus constantly in action, showing his power as the Son of God through the miracles he works.
Because Mark’s gospel is short, it is supplemented for five Sundays during the summer with the Bread of Life discourse from chapter six of John’s Gospel. What a perfect time, during the mid-summer, to pause and reflect on the great gift of the Eucharist which Christ left to us as a memorial of his death and resurrection, as a pledge of his eternal love, and as our spiritual food during our earthly journey to the Kingdom of Heaven.
I encourage you to take some time this summer to reflect on your blessings. Reflect on the greatest blessing God has given us, the gift of his Son Jesus, and Jesus’ passion, death and Resurrection. Reflect on the gift of the Eucharist, through which Jesus fulfills his promise in a tangible way to be with us “until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
This reflection is a great way to cultivate gratitude in one’s heart, a gratitude which can carry us through good times and difficult times; a gratitude which can remind us that God is faithful to his promises and that Jesus desires all people to share in His own divine and eternal life.
Summer is also a great opportunity to spend a little more time praying with your children or grandchildren. Read your young ones a story from the Bible, or about the life of a saint. Teach them a new prayer. Remind them that God is with them every day and in all of their activities.
May you and yours have a peaceful and relaxing summer and an extraordinary experience of God during these “ordinary” summer days.