School is out, our office staff hours have changed, R.E. is finished until the Fall, and summer has begun. We are also back to the Ordinary time of the Church year. There is sort of a laid back feel at the parish too. Actually we do not actually put all of the spring things away until mid-June, but there is some more down time.
I like the readings for the next few weeks. This coming week we will talk about recognizing our need of forgiveness, and the difference between being righteous and self-righteous. The week after that Jesus poses the question to us: "Who do you say that I am?" We will examine our faith response to Jesus. And, by the Fourth of July, the disciples will recognize the power they have, in Jesus' name. The summer holds a great profusion and abundance of themes and reflections for us in our faith journey. To be sure it is not the heaviness of Lent, but asks us to take some time and call to mind our faith and faithfulness.
We are in an era where faith seems to be a quaint concept. Granny and Aunt Marge have faith and pray and do nice things, and we are happy for them. We can easily confuse being religious with being nice. So much to the point where w might state 'I don't need God to be nice." But in reality our faith is not calling us to be 'candy stripers' but to pour out our lives in compassion, peace and forgiveness. Our day to day living needs to be a bit more prophetic than simply wearing a happy face.
In years gone by our Bishops have spoken on poverty, the crisis in Sudan, the war in Iraq, genetic testing, and political responsibility. Some thought that the Bishops were out of line in addressing these issues. But these are the moral and ethical ethical dilemmas which our faith struggles with on a daily basis. Our Church must take a prophetic stand and speak up where there is human tragedy, questions, and crisis.
During these summer months it is not unusual not to see people at Church. Our lives continue though, albeit at a slower pace, and we need that strength and guidance which our communal worship offers us. This is a good time to take in the beauty of creation and reflect on our own pathways of life. The summer months are perfect to regroup and to re-invest ourselves in life of our family and friends.
Ordinary time is not really about sameness, or even worse boredom, but in taking time and discovering the extra-ordinariness of God and one another. Let's take time to praise God and recognize we are God's holy people.