Note: The Easter Season concludes with Pentecost Sunday. From the Upper Room, the Church goes forth empowered by the Spirit to proclaim the life she has within her. Now we enter the period of Ordinary Time, which concludes on the Saturday following the feast of Christ the King.
Before we move into a new season, with its broad thrust through the remaining weeks of the year, it is good to review the events that have brought us to this point. We recall that the new liturgical year began with the First Sunday of Advent, December 2, 2018. Advent led into the Christmas Season, which continued through the Baptism of the Lord, January 13, 2019. January 14 was the start of Ordinary Time, which lasted until the day before Ash Wednesday, March 6 this year. The Season of Lent followed, preparing us for the great Easter Triduum: from Holy Thursday evening, through Good Friday and Holy Saturday, up to Easter Sunday. With the solemn Easter Vigil on the night of April 20, we saw the first dawning of the “Fifty Days” of Easter. This gives us an overview of what we have celebrated in the life of the Church thus far.
This Sunday, June 9, we celebrated the Solemnity of Pentecost. Monday, June 10, begins the period of Ordinary Time after Pentecost. Now that we have been brought to a certain corporate maturity in the growth of the Body of Christ, we are called to proclaim this fullness of life to the whole world. It is through the Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of our Lord that we have been given the fullness of the Spirit, which fills us with an ardor to go forth as Jesus charged the Apostles to do when he ascended to his Father. The period of Ordinary Time after Pentecost ends on November 30, the Saturday following the Solemnity of Christ the King, and a new liturgical year begins with the First Sunday of Advent, December 1.
The period of the liturgical year that is now before us represents in a symbolic way the period of time before the end of the world, whenever that will be. All of creation is waiting in expectation for all that is to be fulfilled. The thrust of this Season is reconciliation: the restoration of all things in Christ – a total restoration of creation itself. Finally, all creation must be filled with the one life of God to realize the glory that is to be revealed. This becomes our commission, our labor, our life.
Meanwhile, we must see ourselves here on earth as one Body of Christ: we must maintain our unity. That gives us the thrust of the Church and our commission, as we stand at the edge this new liturgical season. We operate out of this awareness to maintain the integrity of our faith and proclaim this unique restoration.
Several feasts central to the Church are celebrated during the first weeks of Ordinary Time in order to prepare us for what lies ahead. Pentecost is followed by the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (June 16) and the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (June 23). Friday, June 28, is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Normally, the following Saturday is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; however, this year that feast is superseded by the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29). This exceptional combination of feasts immediately gives to the liturgy a sense of very deep mystery.
From the writings of Fr. Francis J. Marino
Founder of the Anawim Community
Excerpt from The Anawim Way, Volume 15, no. 5. More information about The Anawim Way may be found here.