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Faith in ‘Ordinary Time’
Look with the eyes of the Spirit
By Juan Luis Calderón, STL
This article originally appeared in the July - August 2010 Newsletter.
After the special—and intense—seasons of Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, the liturgical calendar follows with Ordinary Time. The name gives the impression that our spirituality can have a period of calm after the strong feelings of the Lord’s passion and resurrection. “Nothing fancy,” you think. “Just a time to relax and wait until the next Advent, when our Christian spirituality will be reactivated.”
But “ordinary” has another meaning when you see life with Christian eyes. Our liturgical ordinary time comes just after the celebration of the great feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus returned to God, he sent the Holy Spirit to the world (Acts 2:4), so that Christians became temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Spirit was not sent to live around us, but in us; we are temples of the Holy Spirit. After Pentecost, the “ordinary time” of the church is the time of the Spirit.
Take a look at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12). Jesus converted water into wine—that’s the miracle we usually “see” reading this passage. But we don’t reflect on why this is possible. Jesus made the miracle because he looks with the eyes of the Spirit. Common people see water that is water and will continue being water. Jesus instead sees water and the possibility of it becoming wine. The ordinary (water) can become extraordinary (wine).
At Bread for the World, we are people of faith; we believe in what God says. If we look with the eyes of the Spirit, the extraordinary can also become ordinary. Bread is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad, because we really believe hunger can be extinguished.
What right now is ordinary—hunger—could be eradicated from the face of the earth if we look with the eyes of the Spirit. Bread knows that putting an end to hunger is possible! The extraordinary can be ordinary in the near future: We just need to convince members of Congress and legislators around the world to act as the temples of the Holy Spirit that God says they are.
In our world, we have too much “water,” and we need more “wine.” We have all that is necessary to make the miracle. We can end hunger. Just open your eyes and look at the hungry world as a world of possibilities where hunger will exist no more.
Now, go to a mirror and begin practicing in a loud voice: “I am a temple of the Spirit. Have faith. End hunger.”
Rev. Juan Luis Calderón is a catholic priest serving the Archdiocese of Newark (New Jersey) and a Board member of Bread fpr the World.