The Season after Pentecost (Ordinary Time)

“To live the liturgical year is to keep our lives riveted on one beam of light called the death and Resurrection of Jesus and its meaning for us here and now.”
(Joan Chittister, ‘The Liturgical Year)

The liturgical year consists of the cycle of seasons of the church year. It begins with the Season of Advent in which we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and ends with the celebration of the Reign of Christ. The liturgical year includes many dramatic high and low points within the story of salvation – the story of the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

In between those dramatic liturgical occasions are periods of ‘Ordinary Time’. There are two such times within the year. The first begins after the Baptism of Jesus and continues until the day before Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent). The second begins after the celebration of Pentecost and continues until the Reign of Christ. This season is known as the Season of Pentecost.

So, in a sense, Ordinary Time is that ‘time between times’, a time without the drama of Christmas, or Holy Week and Easter. However, it is through regular worship in Ordinary Time that we discover the deeper meaning of those more dramatic seasons. It is through the readings, prayers, and music of this season that we, as Christians, discover the world through the eyes of Jesus. And, it is during this season that we discern how we are called to live according to Jesus’ life, death and teachings.

“Clearly the human-divine relationship in the Trinity, the unifying force of the Eucharist, the mercy of God, and the lordship of Jesus bring all the scriptures of Ordinary Time to life. These feasts, born of popular devotion and theological thought, make Ordinary Time a time for making the faith the force of daily life.” (Joan Chittister, ‘The Liturgical Year’)