Ordinary Time is an often neglected liturgical season, because it makes up the majority of the year and is based on the order of weeks in the calendar. Yet, within the season of Ordinary Time are essential themes for the Christian life. Not a day is wasted, no matter how ordinary, for the Children of God — every day in history is a day of Salvation history.
From before the beginning, God was Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — an eternal family of life giving love. From this love came creation: Invisible and visible, the heavens and the earth, the angels and the animals. At the end of creation came mankind, members of God’s very own family, placed especially on the paradise of Mt. Eden. Yet, at some point, the poison of pride infected one of the angelic host, and a terrible war broke out. The father of lies, Lucifer, brought the battle to Eden and, out of fear, humanity was beaten. While the skirmish on their mountain was lost, and their souls taken captive, the Father of Truth promised to free them from captivity, and win the war (cf. Genesis 3:15).
As the war continued, different battles were fought. The Dragon of Old almost conquered the world when Noah built the ark, and the Father cleansed creation by the flood. Abraham faithfully obeyed God as a soldier would obey a General, even to the point of being willing to kill his own son. The Father stopped him just in time, and God promised Abraham upon a mountain that the war would be won by one of Abraham’s line. Soon thereafter, the devil took captive the children of Abraham, and Moses was raised up to set God’s people free. Amidst their freedom, many difficult battles were fought against the powers of sin and death. Finally David was made king of God’s people. His abounding love for God and His people made it seem that the battle would soon be over. God promised Him, upon Mount Zion, that His son would rule forever. Yet, the kingdom of vice slithered into the kingdom God had established, and the weakness of David’s children led to the capture of God’s people once more. Yet, over and over again, God sent His prophets to those in captivity, crying out with a message of hope. “The war will be won, we will be redeemed!”
Then, in the fullness of time, a heavenly Colonel knelt before the Virgin Queen, with the message that the Father wanted her to bear the promised King by the power of the Holy Spirit. With her “yes” came the beginning of the ultimate defeat of the armies of hell. The King was born, not in a palace, but in a cave. He grew up, not learning courtmanship, but carpentry. He had no servants, but instead He served. After years in the training grounds in the school of humility, taught by the Holy Family, He began His public conquest.
Through deep prayer, He healed the sick, brought sight to the blind, and taught about the conflict between the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of Satan. Many people began to follow Him, and He in turn enlisted them into His mighty army, to bring the Good News of His coming victory over sin and death to the world. Among His troops, He called twelve men to be Generals in the midst of His armies; Apostles of the one sent by the Father. One of those twelve was singled out to confirm the brethren throughout the war with the words of Christ the King: “You are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my Church.”
With everything carefully in place, the final battle was fought, and the hour of Glory for the King had come. He gathered His twelve Generals to celebrate, and gave them the words of our salvation: “this is my Body” and “this is my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, do this in memory of me.” He then began His victory march to the top of Mount Calvary, where the Author of Life was put to death, and death was robbed of its sting, hell robbed of its victory. For Christ was obedient unto death, death on a cross, and because of this the Father raised Him from the dead. After the Resurrection and after teaching His Apostles for fifty days, He ascends to the right hand of God and sent the Spirit upon His Apostles.
Though the war is won, the final battles rage on. St. Paul was chosen by the King Himself to proclaim the victory of the Cross to the whole world, and to encourage the armies of the King to put on the armor of God, as they fight against principalities and powers. Many hear the Apostolic call, and live the victory of the Cross, standing firmly within the bulwark of truth, which is the Church. One who hears the call is St. Bernard of Clairvaux who recruits many souls to fight in the Lord’s regiments. St. Francis of Assisi becomes the standard bearer of the King, bearing the brand marks of Christ on his body. St. Ignatius of Loyola establishes powerful shock troops to free those still bound by sin. St. Josemaria trains the entire Kingdom to use the ordinary events of life as extraordinarily effective weapons against the enemy. Bishop Caruana served as herald of the Queen who crushed the head of the enemy under the title of Our Lady of Europe. Bishop Zammit now commands the forces of the Lord upon the rock of Gibraltar; and the victory over sin and death is yours, and you are meant to live that victory. The same goes for your local bishop wherever you are!
No longer a slave to sin but a child of God, you are a soldier in the greatest army ever known, fighting the most important war. The battleground is not on land but in the spiritual realm, and you are the strategic outpost through which the Spirit can reach others. Salvation History is God’s willingness to fight for you out of the deepest love. Therefore, carry the banner of the Cross in all your words and deeds, so that at the end of time, when all the battles are over, you may approach, not the top of the rock, but the heavenly Zion to see the face of God.
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