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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 10

7 June, 2015

The glorious fifty days of Easter have passed and we are now embarking on our liturgical journey through the winter months. The Book of Common Prayer describes these as "Sundays after Trinity" and A Prayerbook for Australia has chosen the pre-Vatican II Roman terminology of "Sundays after Pentecost." Following the reforms of the 1970s the Roman Catholic Church adopted the term "Ordinary Time" or in Latin Tempus per annum (literally "time during the year"). At St Peter's Eastern Hill we follow this contemporary Roman terminology and associated lectionary published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1992. We will of course celebrate a number of feast days before Advent: St Peter's Day, the Feast of the Assumption, New Guinea Martyrs and so on. We also have our Parish Mission from the 19th to 26th July. But overall this is an ordinary time. I rather like that.

We need to embrace and celebrate the ordinary as much as we do the special. That is the reality of human life - physical, intellectual and spiritual - and to pretend otherwise is a delusion. American author, Bill Martin, offers sage advice to parents, but his message is something we all need to hear in our increasingly complex and over-stimulated Western culture.

Do not ask your children to strive
for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

Between today and Advent Sunday we have some 23 ordinary Sundays. You might be tempted from time to time to stay at home, have a lie-in, go and do something a bit more special than just coming to church. After all, it's just an Ordinary Sunday. Please don't. The author of the letter to the Hebrews puts it well (10:23-25): "Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster



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