Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Faith Seeking Understanding for Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Sorry this is a few days late.

Faith Seeking Understanding for January 15, 2006

Today’s Gospel directs our attention to Jesus Christ in a striking way, thanks to the startling words of St. John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God.” Unlike the preparations for Christmas, when we hear John “preparing the way of the Lord,” and preaching repentance in the desert, today’s message is the perfect one to begin “Ordinary Time.” We focus our attention now, at the beginning of the year, to our savior Jesus Christ.

Truthfully, there is nothing “ordinary” about Ordinary Time. These are simply the “ordinal” Sundays throughout the year that aren’t marked by the Liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter. Since the moment of the Incarnation, however, no time, season, or event is merely “ordinary,” because everything is transformed by the grace of God made man. The green vestments are a constant sign of hope in the Resurrection and the graces given to us through the mysteries of Christ’s passion, death, resurrection, and ascension substantially present in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

This Second Sunday in Ordinary Time is an excellent time to reflect on the importance of Sunday, the “Day of the Lord.” Whether in our work, our play, our families, or our parish, how is Sunday the first day of the week? Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, “on keeping the Lord’s Day holy,” in 1998. In it, the pope reminds us that Sunday “is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death, the fulfillment in him of the first creation and the dawn of ‘the new creation’ (cf. 2 Cor 5:17). It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world's first day and looks forward in active hope to ‘the last day’, when Christ will come in glory (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Th 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (cf. Rev 21:5)” (Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, 1).

As he was preparing the world to celebrate the Great Jubilee of 2000, Pope John Paul II noted that in many places throughout the Church, Sunday had begun to lose its centrality as a day focused on Christ and our salvation. He reminds us, in a gentle but firm manner: “The disciples of Christ, however, are asked to avoid any confusion between the celebration of Sunday, which should truly be a way of keeping the Lord’s Day holy, and the ‘weekend’, understood as a time of simple rest and relaxation. This will require a genuine spiritual maturity, which will enable Christians to ‘be what they are’, in full accordance with the gift of faith, always ready to give an account of the hope which is in them (cf. 1 Pt 3:15). In this way, they will be led to a deeper understanding of Sunday, with the result that, even in difficult situations, they will be able to live it in complete docility to the Holy Spirit” (Dies Domini, 4).

He continues: “Today I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday: Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ! Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that he may cast light upon it and give it direction. He is the One who knows the secret of time and the secret of eternity, and he gives us ‘his day’ as an ever new gift of his love” (Dies Domini, 7). Stay tuned for more “nuggets” from John Paul on how to keep Sunday holy!

On Friday, January 20, at 7:00 pm, John Hale (from Corporate Travel) and I will give a presentation about the pilgrimage to Italy this October 18-27. The total cost per person is $2599, based on double occupancy. Please come to the presentation for more information, or to express interest.

May God bless you all!