Ordinary Time (Fall)
Some parts of the year, like Advent and Lent, have a specific focus and character. Other times are more “ordinary.” But ordinary does not mean boring. Ordinary means being about the every day business of being a disciple of Jesus. Ordinary time is the time for us to build up the Kingdom of God in our midst. It is the time to go to the ends of the earth and spread the Good News of salvation. Ordinary time is the time when we show we are Christians by our love.
But Ordinary Time also reflects the changes in the seasons that are going on around us. In the fall, our Ordinary time takes on and helps shape the character of the events and activities of September, October and November.
September is a month of new beginnings. In nature, the leaves begin to fall and Autumn arrives. In our daily lives, vacations end, a new school year begins and we return to a pattern of working and living that will last until next June. In many ways, our “real” year begins now as we pick up the activities and responsibilities that will fill the coming days, weeks and months. As a faith community, we also begin again as we set our hearts and minds once more to the work of being disciples. In this harvest season, we remember the words of Jesus, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.” (Luke 10:2) So as we prepare for all that the coming year will bring, we ask for the courage to be God’s chosen people in both word and action. And we give a hearty “YES” to all that will come our way this year as we meet it with faith and hope and always with love.
October is a month filled with activity! School’s well underway. Sports practices fill the afternoons with games galore on the weekends. Baseball heat up with the playoffs and footballs fill the air! In the midst of all this, our Church reminds us of the sacredness of life. We are challenged to see past the activities to the people themselves and to give thanks for the incredible gift of life itself. October is also dedicated in a special way to Mary, the mother of God, who through her “yes” helped give life to Our Lord. One of her special feasts, Our Lady of the Rosary, is celebrated on October 7th. Finally, we end the month celebrating the ultimate evening of hospitality: Halloween! When we welcome all who come to our door, no matter what they look like, and share with them a taste of something sweet: a glimpse of the sweetness of heaven.
November means colder weather and warmer hearts. As the weather draws us inside to gather around our hearths, we remember those who have died. The Feast of All Saints begins the month when we sing the praises of the heroes of our faith. The saints are all the ones who in their lives were able to model in a powerful way the compassion and love of Jesus for others. The saints are the ones who faith touched the larger world. The Feast of All Souls on November 2 is the day we remember everyone who has gone before us in faith: our family & friends, all those who lived lives of quiet courage and who died in the hope of resurrection. They are the ones who touched our own lives with their holiness. November is also the month that we give thanks to our God for all the blessings of this year and for the gift of life itself. Finally, we end the month by beginning a whole new liturgical year. With the coming of Advent we start a whole new church year as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, who is Christ the Lord!