11th Sunday of our Liturgical Year
I oftentimes have been referring to the time after the Easter Season as the “Time after Pentecost.” We often read that the church refers to the Sundays from now until we return to Advent Season as, “Ordinary Time.” This calling of these weeks and Sundays ‘Ordinary’ does not mean that they are less than wonderful days on our church calendar. It is just that we need a counting system to remind us of where we are on our yearly journey as a worshipping community. One writer explained it like this: “you’ve likely heard of ordinal numbers: first, second, third, and so on. It is because of these ordinal numbers that we get, in English, the name Ordinary Time. These coming weeks of Ordinary Time, while not Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Eastertide, are no less vital to the life of the church and our prayer and formation.” Every day on our Liturgical calendar is essential and a blessing to our life as a worshipping community.
This same author explains a posture that we have been using since celebrating Mass in the gymnasium…that of sitting. “Perhaps the most “ordinary” posture we humans have is sitting. Whether at a desk, in a workplace or relaxing at home, eating a meal, watching TV or a movie, sitting is the posture in which we spend most of our days. It is not the full vulnerability of lying down or the powerful stature of standing; it hovers somewhere in between—not action, not rest—yet it is calm, watchful, and alert. If we let it, it can be a posture of receptivity, of openness, of a willingness to hear and understand.” (Edited remarks from: Living Liturgy, Liturgical Press)
To this I would like to add that it is also safe for us who are using chairs without armrests or something else to steady ourselves while rising or sitting back down. Several of you have mentioned that remaining in a seated position during the gospel and consecration is disrespectful. On the contrary…something is disrespectful if the intention is deliberate and condescending towards a person or situation. For us, it is an adaptation to our situation while we are not gathering in the church building. Myself and our Deacons believe that until we move from the gymnasium to the church building, we will remain seated for the Mass. On the other hand, many have commented that sitting is the best posture for our elders and children. Don’t worry, when we return to the church, we will resume standing, kneeling, and sitting at the appropriate parts of the Mass.
Having reflected upon these “Ordinary Time days” and our prayer posture, (for the time being) our focus should remain on the fact that we gather to hear God’s words in the scripture readings, to be nourished by the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and wish to be encouraged by the gathering of our worshipping community.
As we launch into Ordinary Time, we pray that the coming months will be for us a time of good health and restored peace in these extraordinary Covid times.
Several occasions and intentions to remember including the following:
June 12th- we venerate the Immaculate Heart of Mary
June 14th- our Nation observes Flag Day
June 20th-Father’s Day.
June 24th-The Nativity of John the Baptist
June 29th-the dual Feasts of Saints Peter & Paul.
July 1st-we honor American Saint Junipero Serra.
July 4th-Independence Day
In these challenging times we have so much to be thankful for. Let our attention be on the blessings that we continue to receive and accept the inconveniences that also fill our days. May the Holy Spirit guide us into the future and touch the hearts of those who have been filled with any type of fear because of the pandemic. And may everyone be protected from the symptoms of this virus. As we seek to have our population inoculated let those who are hesitant be calm and accepting of this protection. Together we will be able to resist getting sick and together will we be a healthy and blessed community and country.
May God bless us all,