Sunday, May 30, 2010
Ordinary Time, Still Extraordinary Grace
The white of Easter tends to draw our eyes upward to the joy and the glory of Christ's Resurrection and conquering of the plague of sin and death. It is the most joyous season, and rightly refocuses our attention toward Heaven, and what God has in store for his faithful ones. It can be tempting for us to want to stand with our gaze fixed on the promise of eternal glory, and, like Peter, James, and John before the Transfigured Christ, to want to pitch a tent there and forget about the work that remains to be done in the world: "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4).
But, the Easter season has passed, and the shift into Ordinary Time echoes the words of the angels who drew the Apostles' attention back down from the sky after Christ's Ascension: "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come again the same as you saw him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). The promise is unchanged and always remains with us, but our attention is now refocused on the gravity of the immediate task ahead. Now we have to take the same spirit of worship, joy, and blessing with which the Apostles returned to Jerusalem (cf Lk 24:52-53) and, armed with the grace and power of the Spirit that we have witnessed, to go out into our world and do what the color green traditionally reminds us to do: to get to work growing the Church by spreading the Gospel into the world, so that when the Master returns we can present him with a bountiful harvest.