The amazing feasts of Ordinary Time

Do you miss the exuberant “Alleluias” of the Easter season? I used to feel a bit of a twinge when we return to Ordinary Time, but now I actually look forward to it, because the Church piles on so many lovely feastdays after the Easter season has come to an end. After Pentecost, we have the Feast of the Blessed Trinity–which was yesterday–and next Sunday is the Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ). The bountiful Scripture readings, as well as the theological and spiritual traditions of these feasts, really enrich my prayerlife as we return to “Ordinary” Time. And all of these feastdays–in fact, any feastday celebrating a mystery of God or the Church–can offer us special insight into the spirituality of communication.

The feast of the Blessed Trinity is the one time a year in which the “ordinary” Catholic might try to peer into the theological mystery of the inner life of the Trinity–a mystery so inscrutable that words really do fail. So the Church, rather than wrestling with the intellectually-impossible task of understanding God’s inner life, seeks to help us to understand that we are already invited into that inner life of love. In fact, when we receive the gift of Baptism, we experience that love in our own lives as God’s children, even when we don’t recognize it.

The reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans describes how God welcomes us into sharing his own life: “When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:15-17). When we cry out to God our Father, our cry becomes the Spirit’s cry, too. I’m not sure which comes first–our cry or the Spirit’s? But this cry of the Spirit is a powerful reminder that we already belong in that inner circle of love.

My “takeaway” as a communicator this year is that’s God’s love is not a small, self-absorbed circle. The mystery of the Blessed Trinity isn’t something static that we adore from afar, from the outside. Instead, the mystery of the Blessed Trinity is the Communion of Three Divine Persons–the Father, Son, and Spirit–who invite us in to share God’s own life!  The “embrace” of the Blessed Trinity is ever-widening, ever more inclusive. Even though we are confused, wounded, sinful, and don’t seem “worthy” of God’s love, the embrace of the Trinity reaches towards us, to embrace us.

And so must my communication be: always inclusive, always embracing. Even when I write or speak about a truth that is difficult for someone else to hear, I seek to do it in a way that is inviting, that includes the listener in the dialogue. Because that’s how God chooses to relate to humanity and to me.

This image of the widening embrace of the Trinity really captures for me one aspect of this incredibly beautiful and incomprehensible Divine Mystery at the heart of our Faith.


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