Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
“Ah, green — now that is a color I haven’t seen in a while,” goes a famous meme of Obi-Wan Kenobi to capture the feeling of the return of green vestments that mark our resumption of Ordinary Time. Get used to green because we’ll be seeing it for a while. We can deceive ourselves of the importance of these summer months following Lent and Easter that will take us all the way to next Advent and Christmas.
Our common use of the word “ordinary” lulls us into thinking it means “boring.” The repetitive green week after week can seem to add to the monotony. If we consider that “boring” or “I’m bored” are recent additions to common vocabulary — people didn’t use these words/phrases until recently with the beginning of the industrial revolution — we can see our sense of the word “ordinary” says more about us than this season of Ordinary Time.
Ordinary Time has its roots in the word “ordinal” which is the Latin word for “the measure of time.” The liturgical color of the season is green because it should be a reminder of what we should be doing, growing as disciples of Jesus as the vegetation all around us is growing.
The grain of wheat falls and dies during Lent and springs forth with new life at Easter with our Lord’s Resurrection. It is watered with the Word of God during Ordinary Time by hearing the Good News of what Jesus did and taught. This season of growth prepares us for the harvest at Advent, which prepares us for when the Lord comes, the first time at the Incarnation and when He will come again.
The Prophet Isaiah recounts the word of the LORD spoken to him, “Yet just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving the end for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). There is no better time to pick up your Bible this summer during this growing season.
Advent and Lent are great for short sprints to revive and adopt spiritual disciplines. Ordinary Time is possibly more fitting for small continual growth and soaking ourselves in the rich nourishment of the Word of God. A disciple is one who sits at the feet of the teacher. As we live out our parish mission to make disciples as we abide in Christ and build His Kingdom, I challenge you to sit each day with the Word of God for at least 15 minutes during this relaxed time of summer.
In His Mercy,
Fr. Eric Clark,