Church Ordinary Time, which begins anew after the feast of Pentecost and runs until the beginning of Advent (this year, Sunday, December 3), is a time for us to settle into learning what it means to know and follow Jesus. (Note: the first round of Ordinary Time was between the end of the Christmas Season and the beginning of Lent.) We read from the gospel of Matthew this year and hear parables, stories of miracles and Jesus’ words about what it means to be his disciple. We also celebrate a couple of wonderful feasts that help us to know more about Jesus. At bible.usccb.org, the US Bishops post all of the daily readings. You can prepare for the Sunday readings at liturgy.slu.edu, a website maintained by St. Louis University.
On Sunday, June 11 we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi, as it was known in the past. This feast was established for the universal church in 1264 by Pope Urban IV as a way to solemnly remember the institution of the Eucharist. The US Bishops have designated this year’s feast of Corpus Christi as the beginning of the parish phase of a multi-year Eucharistic Revival. The Revival homepage (www.eucharisticrevival.org) tells us that “[t]he National Eucharistic Revival is a movement to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery here in the United States by helping us renew our worship of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist”. During this coming year, all of us are called to have a personal encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and to perhaps invite another individual to do so as well.
Sunday, August 6 is the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. This feast is always celebrated on this date, August 6, though it is not often celebrated on a Sunday. We remember this event, Jesus’ transfiguration, every year on the Second Sunday of Lent. This year, however, we get to rejoice again as a community, experiencing Jesus’ glory and his identity as God, even in the midst of our ordinary lives which are often marked by confusion and lack of direction. You can read a short reflection on the Feast of the Transfiguration at Word on Fire (bit.ly/WOFTransfiguration.)
Race Amity Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of June, this year, June 11. (Race Amity Day is different from June 19, or Juneteenth, a federal/state holiday. For information about Juneteenth, see the June 2022 Good Housekeeping article at bit.ly/GHJuneteenth.) According to the National Center for Race Amity, “race amity is the ‘other tradition,’ a tradition of close interracial partnership and collaboration that has served throughout our history as the moral counterweight to the dominant tradition of racism and oppression” (raceamity.org/). On Saturday, July 29, 2023, from 12:00-6:00pm the annual Boston Race Amity Arts and Music Festival returns to Faneuil Hall Marketplace with a diverse musical lineup, community art projects, handmade local arts and crafts and free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from Festival sponsor Boston Scoops!
A helpful and challenging book to read about racism is Daniel P. Horan, OFM’s 2021 book, A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege. Fr. Horan, a white Catholic priest, wrote this book “to help guide white people to discover those things [structural racism and white privilege/supremacy] we were socialized to not see, to dismiss, to excuse, to qualify, to rationalize or to reject outright” (p. xvi). In the last two chapters of this book, Fr. Horan writes of several concrete steps we can take to begin the work of recognizing the part we may unwittingly play in maintaining systems that benefit white people while oppressing people of color. He notes the need for all of us to develop a spirit of ongoing conversion (metanoia) and a strong grounding in a life of prayer; he says that “it is important to remember that we never do the work of God alone, but always as part of and within the broader community of the faithful” (p. 155).BACK TO LIST