Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Praised be Jesus Christ!  Now and forever! 

Today is the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time.  Last Sunday’s Masses for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord were the last celebrations of the Christmas Season. 

However, evening prayer that night is the first liturgical marker for Ordinary Time.  It’s a little confusing!  The next day, Monday, is the First Week in Ordinary Time.  Therefore, this Sunday is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, because it is the Sunday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time. 

During much of the Catholic Church’s long history, we had two blocks of time formerly called “Season after Epiphany” and “Season after Pentecost.”  It wasn’t until 40 years ago, after Vatican Council II, that this term “Ordinary Time” came into common usage in the liturgical calendar.  It’s tempting to think that “Ordinary Time” got its name because it is “ordinary” but that is not the case. 

In the Catholic Church “ordinary time” means ordered or numbered time and is derived from the ordinal numbers (first, second, third).  It begins the Monday after the Baptism of the Lord and continues until Lent.  The count then resumes where it left off on the Monday after Pentecost and continues until Advent. 

Ordinary Time lasts 33 weeks, honoring the total number of  years our Lord lived on this earth.  The 34th, or Final Week of Ordinary Time, celebrates the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.  Welcome to Ordinary Time!

On this Tuesday, January 20th, 2009, one day after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Barack Hussein Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, and the first African-American to occupy the Oval Office.  Just two days after Inauguration Day, U.S. pro-lifers will stream through downtown Washington DC for the Annual March for Life, marking the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. 

For many, the question of the day won’t be whether, but how, they and the new administration will lock horns.  Next weekend, Catholics at Mass around the country will be asked to sign postcards to their senators and representatives urging them to reject the pro-abortion legislation supported by President Obama.  By then, the new President may have taken the first steps to carrying out his clearly stated pro-choice views. 

As Catholics, we must oppose passage of the evil “Freedom of Choice Act.”  To read more about our U.S. Bishops’ opposition to FOCA, visit www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/FOCA.  Americans United For Life is also encouraging pro-lifers to sign a petition against FOCA at www.fightfoca.com.  Also certain to arise soon is the issue of federal judgeship nominations.  President Obama’s picks for these key positions are all expected to be pro-choice, as are his choices for the Supreme Court.  Committed pro-life Catholics have ample opportunity to pray for our nation, the very anti-life direction we are going towards now and our new President.  God help America!

                                                                       Devotedly in the Lord of LIFE! 
                                                                                                    
Father Jim 
                                                                       SaintJohnChurchMiddletown.com

                                                                                       Here I Am Lord

 

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