Msgr. Kevin O’Neill
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As I write to you the Church has just begun to liturgically celebrate the First Week in Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time is the period of the Church calendar outside of other major seasons such as Advent, Christmas or Lent. In Latin, Tempus Per Annum or “time throughout the year”, is a prayerful celebration of the entirety of Christ’s person.
What a remarkable treasury of Faith we are given to break open and share through water and the Holy Spirit! It is a timely reminder that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the One through whom we have come to be and in whom we will encounter eternity.
It is an opportunity to examine our life in Christ with heart and mind, soul and strength. What is so evocative in our relationship with him that generates a zeal for the Lord and rekindles the fire of God’s love in the temple of our souls? How do we understand our personal accountability for seeking to do what the Lord asks of us? How do we engage faithful stewardship of time, talent and resource, and how are they prioritized in our daily lives? How do we answer the Lord’s call in a holistic way and say that we have come to do his will?
The Liturgy is an indispensable way to answer these questions and to seek the Truth revealed in Christ. It is there that we encounter the living God as we petition, praise and adore. There we listen to the words of Sacred Scripture and receive the Body and Blood of the Lord with hearts, minds and souls contrite and humble. That being said, we should never underestimate the need for our active and prayerful presence and participation in this outpouring of mercy and love on the part of God, mercy and love that give hope for the unity and peace of the Church and for the world. How sad it is that our absence at Mass means that we forfeit so much of the inheritance of the victory of the Cross and the glory of the Resurrection!
And so, I extend an invitation to all the households of the diocesan family to seriously make ordinary your commitment to regular celebration of your Faith through Word and Sacrament. Please include in your prayer the needs of the entire Church, the challenges of the world of today and remember particularly to pray for the selection of our next bishop. May God’s help and protection be with us in all days and in all ways.
Blessings in the Lord!