Taking our time

Daily Reading for May 22

Ordinary Time [the Seasons after Epiphany and Pentecost] is the time of the Church, of the daily life of every Christian community, and of each one of us. It is the time not of a brief effort during which one hurries or even runs in order to progress on the way, but the time when one goes at a measured pace in order to cover a long distance.

As a rule, it is not the time for great conversations, for decisive choices made at one time or another in one’s life. But it is the time for a painstaking, though at times wavering, faithfulness; the time for an obscure faith that sustains daily life; the time for a self-effacing hope that holds us steadfast and keeps us from stopping at the first difficulty; the time for charity writ small.

To be sure, this is not the time when we can overcome large obstacles in one leap. But this is the time when progress is made in spite of the rocks or holes along the way. This is the time for unceasingly announcing and preaching the gospel, not with raised voices, but in season and out of season. This is the time that allows for the slow germination of God’s Word, the cultivating of the vine, the regular treatments that prevent and cure diseases, the fertilizing repeated whenever rain or storm have compromised the preceding application. This is the time for lamps to be replenished with oil; for the daily bread, sometimes stale but nonetheless nourishing; for the simple glass of water that quenches thirst. This is the time when one draws new and old from the treasury of the Church and of God’s Word. This is the time of regular prayer, of assiduous attention to the apostles’ teaching, and to the breaking of the bread dispensed by the Church, Sunday in and Sunday out.

Ordinary Time is the opportunity for us to take our time without wasting it.

From Days of the Lord: The Liturgical Year, Volume 4, Ordinary Time, Year A (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1992).

Past Posts