The Storm by Jeff Haynie (Click on image for larger version)
It's never too early in the week to begin pondering the scriptures for the coming Sunday (even if last Sunday's "Word for the Week" is still on the sidebar!).
June 21, 2009 is the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Easter season ended on Pentecost Sunday which is followed, every year, first by Trinity Sunday and then by the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). The last time we saw green vestments on a Sunday was way back on February 22, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday or the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time!
The "ordinary" in Ordinary Time doesn't mean that these Sundays and weeks are ordinary, in the ordinary sense of the word! Ordinary here refers to "ordinal" Sundays and weeks, that is to say, Sundays and weeks known by their ordinal numbers (which numbers are in contrast, of course, to cardinal numbers - but that gets a bit too hierarchical).
The scriptures for this weekend and background on them can be found here and if you're bringing children to Mass, look here for some helpful hints to prepare them to hear the Word.
This weeks scriptures begin with a short but powerful passage from Job. What a text! I've already written to my lectors and told them I envy them the opportunity to proclaim this marvelous lesson. What am I so excited about? Take a look:
The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said:Spare prose but great images!
Who shut within doors the sea,
when it burst forth from the womb;
when I made the clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling bands?
When I set limits for it
and fastened the bar of its door,
and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stilled!
What would you ask the "Lord of the seas" to make calm on your troubled waters?
The second lesson offers a text more complex than the first but St. Paul finally brings it all home in the last three lines of this passage:
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.What are the old things you wish would pass away? what new things do you await?
What needs to be newly created in your life?
The gospel selection is a facile connection with the Job text and it's "Lord of the seas" imagery: here Jesus falls asleep in his disciples' boat during a terrible storm but when they wake him, he tells the wind and the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" And there comes a great calm...
All of us know what it's like to be tossed and blown about on the rough seas of our day to day lives: keep your own "wave and winds" in mind as you read the gospel.