Have you ever thought about the Liturgical Year – the calendar that the Church follows each year to celebrate feasts and saints and seasons? There are two main seasons of anticipation, Advent and Lent, and two seasons of celebration, Christmas and Easter. Then there are some intervening weeks called Ordinary Time. The Liturgical Year presents us, over and over, with the life of Christ, and invites us, through prayer and liturgy, to walk with him.
Now, as of June 2, 2019, we have just concluded the six-week-long celebration of Easter. What comes next is that curious “season” called Ordinary Time, but hidden in Ordinary Time, especially on the Sundays of June, are feasts of extraordinary beauty.Hidden in Ordinary Time, especially on the Sundays of June, are feasts of extraordinary beauty. Click To Tweet
This year, June 9th is the great Solemnity of Pentecost. Pentecost means “the 50th day.” Sunday is the fiftieth day of the Easter celebration, and its conclusion. On Pentecost, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, and the Spirit’s abiding presence with each of us in our own lives, just as Jesus promised. Perhaps we can find a few moments on this great feast to recall the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and to appreciate the ways in which the Spirit is active in our lives. The Spirit’s gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord.
Then, June 16th we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity or Trinity Sunday. This celebration focuses our attention on a core mystery of our faith; the three divine persons of the One God. We are baptized in the name of the Trinity. We profess our faith in the Trinity with every Sign of the Cross, with every proclamation of the Creed at Mass, with every recitation of “Glory be to the Father….” Most especially, at every Mass we proclaim our faith in the Trinity with our response to the doxology recited by the priest at the conclusion of each Eucharistic Prayer, “Through Him and with Him and in Him, O God Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours forever and ever.” Amen!
On June 23rd we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Our hearts and minds are turned to another unfathomable mystery at the core of our faith, the Eucharist. The abiding presence of Christ with us, the Real Presence, and the incomprehensible gift which has been given to us in Christ. In the readings for this day, we hear St. Paul telling the Corinthians, and us: “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (1Cor.11:26). On this great solemnity, perhaps we can find the time to consider what the Eucharist means to us, and how we are different or should be because we are a Eucharistic people.
There are two other great liturgical treasures at the end of June, on June 28th, the Feast of the Sacred Heart and on June 29th the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. The first calls us to rely on the great love of Jesus for us, and the second calls us to rely on the foundations of our faith.
After these great celebrations of June, the Liturgical Calendar continues on for the next few months with Ordinary Time, concluding with the Feast of Christ the King in November. Then it will be Advent again, and we prepare once more to walk with Jesus through his life’s journey and ours.
~ Sister Elissa Rinere, CP