Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall Ordinary Time

In these waning days of summer, as we approach autumn, we continue to hear Gospels focusing on the teachings of Jesus. They are leading up to those final weeks of the liturgical year in November, when we will hear about last things and judgment.

When I teach people about the liturgical year, I often explain to them that Ordinary Time is when we are in storytelling mode: less about the narrative of Jesus's life and more about the ways he showed us what his mission was, and through what he did and said, about the kind of people he wants us to become. In that case, it's only fitting that the liturgical color of the season is green... symbolizing the season of growth in understanding of our discipleship in Christ.

During these next two months, the shade of green displayed in liturgical environments should perhaps deepen, "ripening" with the natural season, along with our growing understanding of what Jesus is calling us to do. When the end of the liturgical year, with its heavy imagery of harvest time comes - when we speak of the time when our souls will be "harvested" and gathered into God's presence, we will, in effect, step out of the green, growing time of our life, into the deep purple stillness of Advent, when we contemplate the Christ who was, who is, and who, at the end of time, shall be.

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