By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
There is a certain wonder and mystery about the Ordinary Times of the church liturgical cycle. Every year our Masses change from white to red to violet to green just like the Earth wobbles as it goes around our magnificent star which we call our sun. This produces the times and the seasons we call summer, fall, winter and spring.
For each season, the liturgy is appropriate. Thus during the fall, we remember our faithful departed as we witness the end of summer, the cascading of the leaves and the harvest of the crops.
In the winter, we welcome the warmth of the Son of God, born of Mary, bringing warmth to the stable and hope to fallen humankind.
Spring is synonymous with the bursting forth from the ground of all the bulbs and seeds buried and maybe forgotten. Our savior also comes forth in the Easter liturgy as the Risen One who was buried in the darkness of the tomb and is now the new light of the world.
Now we have come to the Ordinary times after Pentecost. The tongues of flame coming from the Holy Spirit made a miraculous difference within the minds the apostles. They finally began to figure out what Jesus had been teaching them for so long a time.
Also during this time, clergy wear green liturgical vestments to coincide with the growth of the green grass and the green leaves as we hear the ever new and amazing inspired passages from the Bible.
This year the liturgy of the 4th of July was sandwiched in between some powerful passages from the Book of Genesis. We have heard these scriptues many times before, but like all the inspired words they speak a new message to those who pray first and then let the Holy Spirit guide their thoughts.
As we were debating political squabbles and sporting conflicts, Lot and Abram taught us how to make decisions which are good for both parties. The bounty of God’s promised land was enough for both herdsmen.
Later, Lot is fleeing the anger of God and is helped to make his way to the city of refuge, Zoar, because many were assisting him to get there before fire and death rained down.
Still later, we heard the message that God hears the cry of the poor as the baby Ismael cries out in the desert and the angel of the Lord comes to open the eyes of his mother so that she can recognize the nearby well with the saving waters of life for her son.
Sunday, we heard about the prophet Elisha who can speak the edicts of God, but he cannot see the human needs of his hostess. The humble servant, Gehazi, does know and informs his master of the sorrow the lady had in her heart. And recognizing the wisdom of his slave, Elisha comes out with a promise that God will be the source of new joy for her family in the coming year.
The word of God frees us over and over again…to be a help and a comfort and a joy to every brother or sister in need…..every time the Earth spins around.
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.