Ordinary Time 2020
Ordinary Time is the longest season in the Church liturgical
year. This gracious season began January 11th and continues until
Ash Wednesday Feb. 26th. It will resume June 1st and
stretch all the way until Advent November 28th. We wear green in our
liturgies, because green is the color of life and prosperity (think of money.)
In Ordinary time we hear about the life and teachings of Jesus and concentrate
on what it means to be his disciple.
We begin Ordinary Time as we do Lent. In the initial Gospel
from Mark (1:14-20) we hear the urgent message of Jesus: The time is fulfilled,
the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent and Believe in the Good News. Then Jesus
walks by the shore of the Sea of Galilee and sees four fisherman. He calls them
and their response is immediate and unconditional. They leave their nets, livelihood
and even their family behind and follow Jesus. Their surrender would change
their lives forever. Because of their decision regarding Jesus they became
famous and fruitful.
God gives us time so our lives would change and we would
become fruitful. God promises us grace and abundance. The secret to it all is radical
surrender. Each day Jesus calls us. Our response must be full. Is there
anything you need to leave behind? When I was young and heard Jesus’ call, I remember
I had a Toyota Celica sports car. It had a five speed stick shift and had lots of
instruments and gauges as well as a sleek look to it. I loved that car. Just
before I left home for novitiate with the Passionists I had to sell it. It was
hard at that time, but I’m so glad I let go of my need to be seen in a hot car.
Now Jesus has made my life and ministry hot!
I watched, again, the 30 year old + movie “Back to the
Future.” It stars Michael J. Fox and has time travel as its theme. I was struck
again with the notion of time and what it offers us. Wouldn’t it be great if we
could travel back and change some behaviors and actions? Cher sang, “If I could
turn back time!” Or wouldn’t it be something to jettison ourselves into the
future and get a sneak peek about what is to come?
Sometimes I feel like I’m in a time machine and life is on
fast forward. Suddenly I’m going on 63 years old. Many of my friends are in
their 80’s. Several of our community members and acquaintances have passed away.
Many in our families have gone to be with the Lord. Others are having
operations. We find ourselves way into the future. It is 2020! There are now
7.8 billion people on the face of the earth. Most are younger than we are. There
are new challenges and political tensions. Technology has exploded. Our ability
to communicate has come to new levels. Science is growing leaps and bounds.
Ordinary time is anything but ordinary. Time is simultaneous,
sequential and opportunistic. Everyone on the face of the earth are all in it
together. In order to make the most of your time, you must make unconditional surrender
to God the foundation of your lifestyle. Self-abandonment to God is how
addictions are overcome, dreams are realized and character is forged. Take a
few seconds out of your “now” and rededicate your life to God’s care. Cast your
cares on God because God cares for you. As you develop your lifestyle of
surrender you will become a fruitful person of character and one who develops
and realizes their God-given potential.
Time is the fabric God gives us to become all we can be. Ephesians
tells us we are God’s masterpiece! Through the fabric of the time God gives us,
God is weaving an intricate and colorful tapestry to his Glory. I am praying
your life will be extraordinary! Don’t just live, Live
Love to you in this new year 2020 and new decade! Fr. Cedric