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Anything but “ordinary” if we bring ourselves fully

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Patrick Parish,

This weekend, the Church returns to a long stretch of “Sundays in Ordinary Time.”  Since the liturgical
reforms of the 1960s, some critics have lamented this assigned title for Sundays outside of the Advent/
Christmas and Lenten/Easter seasons.  They complain that it sounds too blah, too plain … yes, too ordinary. Yet, when we understand why the Church assigns these Sundays of Ordinary Time with seemingly lowkey labels, it does actually make sense.

“Ordinary,” in this case means “numbered,” coming from the Latin word “ordinalis.”  It is not intended to discount the importance of these Sundays; rather, these 33 or 34 Sundays throughout the year are numbered (ordered) and each Sunday attempts to connect daily Catholic life with the chosen readings and selected prayers.  Anything but ordinary, we spend this time deepening our understanding of
what we celebrate during the other liturgical seasons.  In other words, it’s time to put into practice the call of our own discipleship as we commemorate the fullness of Christ dwelling among us.  

This is Year A for our Sunday readings, stressing the Gospel of Matthew with the Old Testament readings intended to compliment what we’re hearing in the Gospel.  The epistles (second reading) follow in a sequence, as well.  

Two basic tips are offered for us to cherish the scriptures more in our lives: first, don’t come to Mass “cold and unaware.”  Take some time during the preceding week and reflect upon the upcoming Sunday readings before coming to Mass even read some good biblical commentary.  This approach may actually help each participant become more aware of what is proclaimed and preached.  The second tip is to avoid approaching Mass expecting to simply get “filled up.”  Preparing beforehand can actually help us
fully participate in divine worship.  We’re not here to be entertained but to offer praise and thanksgiving as we hear the Good News and celebrate the Eucharistic liturgy.  And here’s a bonus/tip: “Have fun with it!”  Spiritual reading, especially scriptural reading, can sharpen our awareness of God’s presence in our lives. The more we understand, the more we are engaged.  Savor the word of the Lord.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads, living and deceased, as we thank and honor those who have assumed this great vocation.  Let us continue to pray for our brothers who are actively raising their daughters and sons.  May God grant them increase of strength, courage, and love.

In Christ the Eternal Word,
Fr. Gurnick