Ordinary Time – Summer 2021
Ordinary Time is called this because we use counting numbers to designate the weeks – First, Second, Third, etc. These are the “ordinal” numbers. It is NOT because it is hum-drum, or unimportant. Ordinary Time is just as important as the other seasons in the Church and has some specialness all its own. We use the color green to represent this season – green symbolizes growth and life. Since Christ came to give us Life, we use this time to explore Christ’s miracles, healings, and teachings.
With this article, I want to give you a way to link the summer’s Sunday readings in a sort of pattern.
11th Sunday – The first reading from Ezekiel we hear God say, “I have lifted high the lowly tree.” To me, this can point to Christ crucified on Mt. Calvary. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the mustard seed, which says the smallest, lowly seed becomes one of the largest plants in which birds find shelter. Jesus is the humble, lowly carpenter who becomes King, giving shelter to all of us in His heavenly kingdom.
12th Sunday – We hear in Job God relating His power over the sea in creation, and in the Gospel, we see Jesus calm the storm, revealing His power over creation. A clear indication of His divinity!
13th Sunday – The first reading from Wisdom reminds us that God created man in His image (perfect holiness), but sin entered the world through the “envy of the devil”. In the Gospel, Jesus heals the woman with the hemorrhage and raises Jairus’ daughter to life. Both of these acts also point to Christ’s divinity and His power over sin and death.
Jesus’ role as prophet and preacher:
14th Sunday – We are back in Ezekiel and we encounter a hard-hearted Israel, who despite that, acknowledge the prophet within their midst. It clearly foreshadows Jesus among the hard-hearted citizens of Nazareth, who see He is a prophet, but turn against Him out of fear.
15th Sunday – Amos has to defend and explain his own call from God to prophesy, regarding it as a call he cannot ignore. The Apostles are sent forth to preach and exorcise demons at the behest of Jesus as He gives them His authority to do so.
16th Sunday – Jeremiah speaks of the poor leadership among the Israelites and their bad shepherds. He prophesies that the Messiah will come and provide good shepherds for the Chosen People. Mark’s Gospel account shares the story of Jesus seeing the people as a flock without a shepherd and the inference that the Apostles are being formed as good shepherds to lead the people.
Jesus’ catechesis on the Eucharist:
17th Sunday – This week features the miracle of Jesus feeding 5000 people with LOTS leftover, which is always pointing us to Christ feeding us spiritually and abundantly in the Eucharist.
18th Sunday – We hear the first of the series from John Chapter 6, known as the “Bread of Life Discourse”. Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.”
19th Sunday – Jesus continues His teaching and says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”
20th Sunday – Instead of the Sunday in Ordinary Time, this is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
21st Sunday – “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” says Joshua. Peter essentially says the same thing in the Gospel, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
22nd Sunday – Jesus reminds us to follow God’s commandments, not human tradition. Do not get caught up in the material, but keep your eyes and heart and actions on the eternal.
Each week we will explore these themes in detail in This Week’s Free Thing! And you can listen to Kristofer and me talk about it in our podcast – On the Road to Perfection. So, be sure to subscribe to help you have a more green and growing Ordinary Time!
To the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit!
How does understanding Jesus better help you grow in faith?
by Beth Cowles, MACE
HOO™ Co-Founder and Director of Faith Formation | Lead Catechist