Ordinary Time: a Season Full of Surprises!

By Liquidwords [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

Do you like thinking of your life (and for writers, your writing life) in terms of seasons?

Lately, I have found this concept of seasons so helpful in living my every day life. Perhaps that is because I feel I have entered a new “season” of my life in which I face difficult but also transforming experiences: illnesses and loss of loved ones. (And here is a hidden apology to my faithful readers for not keeping up with my two blogs—and yet, I am glad I have made the choices I have, since the free time I usually devote to writing—blogposts AND new books—has been very much taken up with caring for and spending time with loved ones struggling with serious illness.) This “season” of my life seems to be focused on the gifts that others are—and have been—to me.

The Church also gives us seasons for our spiritual lives. In addition to the “big seasons” of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, there are short series of feasts that fall within Ordinary Time that I have started to consider favorite mini-seasons. And we are towards the end of one that, I think, has so much to say to the human person who is, essentially, a communicative being. This “mini-season” with the focus on communication has many movable feasts, and it is hinted at throughout the Easter Season when so many Gospel readings are accounts of the appearance of Jesus after his Resurrection, or especially important “images” which Jesus uses to describe himself, such as the 4th Sunday of Easter, popularly known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Here is a list of the highlights of my communication-themed mini-liturgical season:

  • Novena to Mary Queen of Apostles (begins 10 days before Pentecost)
  • Novena to the Holy Spirit (begins 9 days before Pentecost)
  • Pauline Solemnity of Mary, Queen of Apostles – Saturday before Pentecost (See my blogpost here about how Mary as Queen of Apostles is also the model for all our communication)
  • Pentecost (The ultimate feast of communication, as the Holy Spirit enables the apostles to preach about Jesus in a way that reaches across all languages and cultures)
  • Memorial Mary, Mother of the Church – Monday after Pentecost
  • Feast of Most Holy Trinity (See my blogpost here about the Most Holy Trinity as the foundation for all communication)
  • May 31 The Feast of the Visitation (Immediately after the Word became flesh, Mary is the very first to bring him to others—the very first moment of evangelization) 
  • Feast of Corpus Christi (Here is a short blogpost illuminating how the Most Holy Eucharist is the most profound communication of God with us)
  • Solemnity Sacred Heart of Jesus (How all communication is to be loving…)
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary (Mary’s loving, heartfelt, often-wordless communication as a model for us in how we speak to each other)
  • Memorial St. Barnabas, Apostle – June 11 (The “son of encouragement” who took Saint Paul under his wing and first mentored him and then accompanied him in his journeys to communicate Christ)
  • Memorial St. Anthony – June 13 (One of the best preachers ever! Humble Saint Anthony knew how to explain the Gospel in a most compelling way…)
  • Solemnity Birth of John the Baptist – June 24 (The first, after Mary, to communicate to the world about Christ—a model of self-emptying communication: “He must increase, I must decrease…”)
  • Solemnity Saints Peter and Paul – June 29 (The two greatest apostles of all time; how each brought his whole self—unique as they are)
  • Pauline Solemnity St. Paul the Apostle – June 30 (Here is my personal prayer to Saint Paul, Communicator of Christ)

I hope that you, too, enjoy this particular “mini-season” in the Church and perhaps take some time to reflect on these questions—as I have started and will continue doing:

  • How God communicates to me (new life, love, gift)
  • How I communicate God to others (life-giving, loving, self-emptying)

God bless you!

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