Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 16, 2007
What does Ordinary Time mean?
By SR. LOUISE ZDUNICH, NDC
Jesus brings light into our lives through his life, death and resurrection.
It is a time to live those alleluias daily, to become more faithful to the commitment we have taken as Christians. It is a time that we are given to respond to grace and become holy. Therefore, it is anything but ordinary.
No one would deny that Easter is a time of renewed life both for nature and for Christians. It is also a season of peace and joy that permeates our whole being and shines forth so that it is visible to all.
In medieval times, some churches had laughing parties. On Easter Sunday, people would come back to afternoon Benediction followed by partying, picnicking and dancing with plenty of jokes and laughter.
Someone once said that humans can be divided into those who live in light and those who live in darkness. Jesus brings light into our lives through his life, death and resurrection.
We celebrate Ordinary Time by living in the light of the resurrection and beaming that light to all those around us. Are we a little like Moses whose face was visibly transformed by his contact with God so that people might wonder what our secret to happiness is?
The first Easter transformed people. Mary Magdalen wanted to cling to Jesus after she had lost and found him again that first Easter. But that's not what Jesus wanted of her. He wanted her to go out and tell others, to witness to him, to be his voice and presence to the poor and the lost. Peter and John and the rest of the apostles realized they could no longer hide behind closed doors but that it was up to them to proclaim Jesus' message to the world and suffer for him.
Paul tells us that he rejoiced in suffering with Christ. Do we radiate God's love and caring in times of suffering and sorrow? This, then, is the extraordinary "Ordinary Time" that Jesus wants us to live out.
This, too, is the message of Mass each Sunday (little Easter): "Ite missa est - Go, the Mass is ended." In other words, "As you are transformed by Christ's suffering, death and resurrection and as this transformation is renewed in you in this Holy Eucharist, go out to your everyday life with family and friends, to your work setting, to the whole world and bring Christ's transformative love and peace and the grace of God to the lives of others."
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