by Rosemarie Pace
Pax Christi New York

(Ed. Note: At key moments throughout the liturgical year, long-time regional coordinator Rosemarie Pace will offer reflections timed the season with accompanying prayers and suggested actions. This is the first in the series.)

As we enter into summer, we also return to Ordinary Time on the liturgical calendar. Those “extraordinary” times of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter are over for this liturgical year, and now we have time, at least theoretically, to grow and mature in our faith precisely because things have settled down and we can allow the lessons of those special seasons to percolate within us.

But have things settled down? In a way, it seems they have. After a year of a pandemic, more and more people are getting vaccinated, rules and restrictions are loosening, businesses are re-opening, life is returning to “normal” or, we might say “the ordinary.”

But is returning to the old “ordinary” what we want or what’s really best for us? During the pandemic, many people reflected on some of the blessings it brought—without denying the horrors, as well. These people pointed out the benefits of slowing down, as Ordinary Time provides. They noted the cleaner air, the ability to better hear the birds and see the stars, and to read and bake and connect with long-lost family and friends.

So let’s think about what we might like of this new Ordinary/ordinary time. How about it becoming ordinary that no one goes to bed hungry, that everyone has a bed to go to and a safe, secure roof over one’s head? How about everyone having whatever health care he or she needs without having to worry about cost? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we weren’t relieved and grateful when a Derek Chauvin is found guilty of murdering a black man for a minor offense (or no offense) because it was just ordinary to have such justice regardless of race or class or any other label? What about it being ordinary that everyone eligible to vote gets to vote without having to jump through hoops, every vote counts, and election results are trustworthy and respected? And can we just make it routine (ordinary) for us to express our appreciation for the real essential workers among us: farmers, sanitation workers, electricians, plumbers, fire fighters, mail carriers, store clerks, public transportation providers, teachers, health care workers, and all others who make our daily lives livable?

An ICM Sister I know would say, “We’re not in heaven yet, Rosemarie,” but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could at least work toward these and many others becoming ordinary? Maybe we can each pick our favorite one and use Ordinary Time to bring about a better ordinary time.

Prayer—Covid Poem

When this is over,
may we never again
take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.

When this ends,
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way–better
for each other
because of the worst.

~ Laura Kelley Fanucci

Suggested Actions

  • Use this Ordinary Time to step back, slow down, pray, reflect, read, and discuss to help you grow and mature in your faith.
  • Reread the reflection above and think what you would like to see become ordinary, whether it’s one of the things mentioned or an idea of your own. Look into what is being done to make that hope a reality, and decide how you can contribute, whether through petition signing, letter writing, phone calling, marching, volunteering your time, donating money, some other action, or a combination of these.
  • Share this PSA with others. Invite them to join Pax Christi and to participate in its many opportunities to create a new Ordinary/ordinary.

One thought on “A reflection for Ordinary Time, Summer 2021

  1. We have experienced the past year and one-half under different circumstances than we previously lived. But we, in fact, experienced life. This is part of our evolution–spiritually and as humanity. Let us continue to shed those aspects of life that are destructive and maybe revolutionize some ways of living–structurally and in terms of goals–so that the poor, marginalized, and neglected are a true priority. Thank you Rosemarie Pace for you inspiring and clarifying thoughts! Peace. Terence Lover Woodstock NY

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