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.
“Peace be with you. As Abba God has sent me, so I send you.”
The Feast of Pentecost has come and gone, marking the birthday of the Church, the end of the Easter season and the return to Ordinary Time. Like any other birthday, this means a new beginning, a celebration of new life, new growth, and new possibilities. And like many birthdays, it is a time of gift-giving. What might be surprising is that we are the recipients and the gift-giver is the Holy Spirit. The catch, however, is that we are not meant simply to accept the gifts of the Spirit, say thank you, and tuck them away. These are gifts that are meant to be re-gifted. As Jesus told the disciples on that first Pentecost, “As Abba God has sent me, so I send you.” Send us where? To do what? The answers are actually pretty clear in the Gospels. We are to go where life leads us, and we are to use and share those gifts, gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord, which is really a call to love.
But how does all of this fit into Ordinary Time? Let’s first remember that Ordinary Time in the liturgical sense is a time for reflection and growth. It’s a time to go deeper into our faith, and we can do that through prayer, study, and action, the three pillars of Pax Christi. We can also consider ordinary time colloquially. When we think of “ordinary” in that way, it suggests routine, familiar, normal, or the like. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if prayer, study, and action for peace and justice were just that kind of ordinary!
So let’s go forward in this season of Ordinary Time accepting Jesus’s commission to each of us to go forth as Abba God commissioned him, whether at work, on vacation, at home, or on the beach, wherever summer takes us. Opportunities to grow in faith and service await. Let’s grab them and make them part of our everyday routine.
God of wisdom, we thank you for your guidance and inspiration, and the knowledge that we must put your gifts to work to make your love visible to all.
Grant us the opportunity for new beginnings when we need them, and help us to focus our energy in the service of your divine love as your Spirit calls us to do.
from a prayer card of the Maryknoll Sisters
Immerse yourself in this season of both the Ordinary and the ordinary: Treat yourself to time for quiet prayer and reflection. Make it a routine not to be taken from you by outside distractions—at least a few minutes each day.
Consider the gifts you have that you can share with others, whether a word of wisdom for someone struggling with an important decision, some knowledge that would interest or enable another, an expression of love that would lift someone’s spirits, or any other Spirit-filled grace that will nurture a hungry soul.
Join Pax Christi for more inspiration and co-workers on the journey. Don’t forget to help us celebrate 50 years of Pax Christi USA in August in the DC area. See more here.
Look for other opportunities to stand up and speak out for peace and justice at our Events page (https://paxchristinys.org/index.php/events/) and at the pages of our Partners (https://paxchristinys.org/index.php/partners/).