The Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes tells us, “There is a time for every purpose.” As we enter our parish church this weekend we see that the beautiful manger scene and the Christmas decorations that have adorned the church in these past weeks have been stored away for another year. Having concluded the Christmas Season with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord last Sunday, we now enter the weeks of our Church Year that are designated as ‘Ordinary Time’.
The Church’s liturgical calendar revolves around the two major solemnities of Christ: Christmas and Easter. Each of these has a season of preparation (Advent and Lent) and a period of weeks after the feast to take it all in during the Christmas Season, which lasts three weeks, and the Easter Season, which lasts six weeks. All of the weeks outside of Advent, Christmas, the Christmas Season, Lent, Easter and the Easter Season are called Ordinary Time. In total, there are 33 weeks of Ordinary Time.
Each year of Ordinary Time we read from one of the three synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark or Luke. 2020 is designated as ‘Year A’ and we will read primarily from the Gospel of Saint Mark.
We will enjoy six weeks of Ordinary Time before entering this year’s Season of Lent on Wednesday, February 26, which is Ash Wednesday.
The liturgical calendar helps us to recognize the sacredness of time as each year we walk with Jesus through the anticipation of his birth, his birth, his life, his suffering, his death, his resurrection and his ascension.
During the weeks of Ordinary Time we walk with Jesus through his earthly life as we hear his proclamation of the Good News which begins in Saint Mark’s Gospel with these words of Jesus: “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
By God’s grace we have the opportunity to follow Jesus through still another liturgical year. Let us make the most of the journey!
See you at Mass – No Excuses!