Introduction

When I was in seminary, in the 1990’s, the rector was asked which day of the liturgical year was his favorite to celebrate.  Without pausing he immediately said, “A weekday in Ordinary Time.”  This surprised us.  We thought he would say Christmas or Easter or some other high feast day.  As the conversation went on he explained his reasoning.  Though the great feasts of the Church year were wonderful, filled with solemnity and meaning, there was something profound about celebrating the Mass on a weekday in Ordinary Time.  What was special about those days?  Nothing other than the fact that the Mass was the Mass and when it was celebrated on an ordinary day during the week, in Ordinary Time, without any special feast, we were given the opportunity to enter deeply into faith as we celebrated the Mass for the simple reason of celebrating the Mass.

The profundity of this reality may not be immediately apparent, but it’s something that is worth reflecting upon until it makes sense.  Though we should always be drawn to the high feast of the Church year with great joy, we should never discount the opportunity that Ordinary Time offers us.  Ordinary Time offers us an opportunity to embrace the Eucharist, and the Holy Scripture, in a way that is anything but ordinary.  We must see every opportunity we have to participate in the Eucharist, or to ponder the Scripture, as an opportunity to love and adore our Lord simply because He is our Lord.  Jesus is worthy of all praise, worship and adoration at all times.  And when all the excitement of the high feasts is removed, we still are left with the greatest act on Earth. 

This volume of the Catholic Daily Reflection Series is the first of two that covers the thirty-four weeks of Ordinary Time.  Perhaps you will not be able to attend Mass every day throughout the year, but you can enter into the Holy Scriptures throughout the year.  The goal of this volume is to help you enter more deeply into the words of our Lord as they are presented to us in the Gospels every day during Weeks One to Seventeen of Ordinary Time.

The Gospels have unlimited potential to transform our lives because the Gospels are the Word of God.  As the Word of God, the Gospels are more than the written record of Jesus’ words.  They present to us the very Person of Christ.  Thus, as you spend time prayerfully meditating upon the Scripture passages in this book and the reflections that accompany those Scriptures, it is hoped that Jesus will be made present to you in a real and personal way.  It is hoped that you will be daily invited to encounter our Lord in such a way that your life is transformed and made holy.  This can only happen if you encounter our Living Lord Himself.  It is my prayer that the reflections within this book will aid you in this holy endeavor.

First Week in Ordinary Time

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