Seasonal Reflection:  Ordinary Time, Summer 2020

by Rosemarie Pace

Reflecting on Peace 

Once again we have entered into the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. We know from past reflections at this site that the “ordinary” in Ordinary Time does not have the same meaning as our colloquial use of the word “ordinary,” and we might agree that that is just as well, because these times are far from ordinary.

For about three months as of this writing, we have been living through a pandemic that has sent many of us to our homes with little escape. It has sent others out to work at their own health risk. It has taught many of us how to meet via Zoom and worship via YouTube. Some have lost jobs or been furloughed and placed on unemployment. Teachers and students are working on-line, while others’ work has included cleaning closets and baking bread. The pandemic has changed lives, at least temporarily, and some profound reflections and beautiful prayers, many about the gift of this extra-ordinary time to slow down and appreciate people and things we often overlook, have grown out of it.

In fact, we can find some good in this unusual time, but this has been a time of hardship for far too many from loss of life to loss of livelihood. And in the midst of these hardships, another has been exposed in a way that too many have tried to ignore or deny—the graphic ugliness of racism. With the murders of a number of African-Americans in the same time period as the pandemic for no reason than the color of their skin, our “ordinary” time has been totally disrupted, and we might say, “Thank God.”


Thank God? Yes, thank God! It is long passed time that we confront the racism that has plagued this nation for 400 years, even before it was a nation. And it is this harsh reality that brings us back to the liturgical season and meaning of Ordinary Time. I remind us all what the USCCB tells us about Ordinary Time: It “is the time of conversion. [It] is living the life of Christ…a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this “Ordinary Time” we experience conversion! We begin living the life of Christi more fully. The mystery of Christ penetrates ever more deeply into history, and we are all caught up in Christ Let’s strive to make that become the new “ordinary.” Let’s recognize this time as opportunity to turn the world around.

 



Prayer

 

The Whole World Over

 

We struggle to stand
the whole world over
under the weight of incredible loss and grief.
We struggle to hope
the whole world over
in the face of uncertainty and anxious fears.
We struggle to love
the whole world over
in defiance of borders and flags.
God, help us to hold each other tight
the whole world over -
trusting that You hold us
the whole world over -
all of us - in the palm of Your hands. Amen.

by Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation, 3-12-2020

 



Suggested Actions

  •  

  • - In addition to the prayer above, you can visit numerous websites to find many more prayers regarding the pandemic and racism. Consider finding a new prayer a day to say in a quiet moment alone or with your family or community.

    - Contact family and friends whom you can’t visit by making a call, e-mailing, sending a good old-fashioned note, or using whatever means is available to you.

    - Reach out to someone you know is elderly, sick, disabled, or just lonely. Offer to deliver a meal, groceries, or just a friendly face through a window or doorway.

    - Read about the racism that has devastated this country. There are many excellent books, but you might consider starting with Fr. Brian Massingale’s Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.

    - Speak out against racism whenever and wherever you encounter it. Make phone calls, write letters, sign petitions, march if you’re able to do so, and help change the systems that perpetuate it.

    - Take care of yourself with a walk, run, bike ride, or other outdoor time on a porch or in a park.


  • And don't forget to join and stay on top of things through PCMNY’s email action alert network and online at our: website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Reflection Archives

 2020:  Easter  Lent  Winter 2019:  Christmas   Advent  Ordinary Time Fall Summer  Easter  Lent  Winter  2018:   Advent  Ordinary Time Fall 
 

 

                                    Pax Christi Metro New York © 2020
371 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014 | (212)420-0250 | fax (212)420-1628 | info@nypaxchristi.org