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June 13th, 2013by Dan Thomas

I grew up with the attitude that nature was to be controlled and, if necessary, “fought” with in order to survive its onslaughts. Winter especially was a difficult season with its cold and snow, which got in the way and made living difficult. Cold was something I couldn’t stand and I spent, it seemed, the entire wintertime freezing.

Spring was better because there was at least some warmth, but it never seemed warm enough, long enough. I spent many a soccer practice or game in wind and cold rain, surviving but barely.

Summer was the season: warmth, sun, heat, sports outside, all wonderful things. As long as the humidity was reasonable, even temperatures in the nineties felt good.

Fall was beautiful with its glowing colors, continued warmth, and ability to be outside still. BUT there was that tinge of coolness that portended the coming winter and therefore it was much less enjoyable.

What saved  and saves me in this seasonal journal of “fighting” the weather was and is the liturgical seasons. These help me get through my battle with Mother Nature. I’ve reflected earlier in this blog on the Christmas and Easter seasons and the challenge, insight, reflection, and guidance I get from them. Now I like to look at the non-season called Ordinary Time (OT) and its messages for me.

One of the beauties of OT is the way the Sunday readings carry us through each of the Synoptic gospels as Jesus journeys through his public life of preaching, healing as he witnesses to the Reign of God among us that is both here already and not yet. I am frustrated by the special feasts like the celebration of the Trinity and the Body of Christ that take us away the readings of the Sundays they replace.

This summer we accompany Luke on the journey to Jerusalem as Jesus trains his disciples for the adversity of the coming cross. The parables of the Good Samaritan, the seats at the banquet, and the vigilance required of servants guide us for our discipleship. There are also the discourses on riches, prayer, and the divisions caused by following Jesus.

It is good for me to have this long time to ask myself what these words and deeds mean for my life. How am I living what they call me to each week? Discipleship isn’t easy, but joining the parish community in this process helps me to meet its challenges.

P.S. Two sources that I have found valuable in understanding and applying the readings are the St. Louis University Center for Liturgy and Five Loaves

Dan Thomas

Dan Thomas is a retired Director of Religious Education, living in Dayton Ohio. His education includes graduation from Chaminade HS and the University of Dayton (MA in Pastoral Ministry). He is married with two adult sons and is a parishioner at St. Helen, Dayton.