The Church understands that we need times for feast, times for fast and also ordinary times that make the others stand out. We have just completed the greatest of all feasts, the fifty-day season of Easter. Now we are back into “Ordinary Time.” Ordinary, in this sense, does not mean run-of-the-mill. The word ordinary comes, in this sense, from the word “ordinal,” meaning the type of numbers we use for counting. It refers to the fact that we number the weeks as ninth, tenth, and so on.
But even with this return to Ordinary Time, we have three special feasts to celebrate every year as soon as the Easter season ends. These celebrations help us to focus on the mysteries of our faith. We refer to them as “Solemnities of the Lord in Ordinary Time.” This Sunday, instead of the Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we have The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Trinity Sunday is a chance for us to reflect upon the most basic foundation of our faith, the nature of God as three divine Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in one indivisible God.
The next of these solemnities was originally placed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday because of its connection with the Last Supper. To open it to more people, the bishops of the United States have designated the following Sunday for The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. That would be next Sunday, June 18. We still often refer to this feast by its Latin name of Corpus Christi. That feast recognizes that as often as we celebrate the Eucharist, we can begin to take it for granted. So we have a special feast to recognize the importance of the Eucharist. This has frequently been a day when we have Exposition and, in some places, a Eucharistic Procession through the streets of the town. Our custom at St. Malachy is that we will have Exposition after the 11:00 Mass, and then we will have a short procession, to a temporary altar set up in the gym (the former church) at 3:00.
The Friday after Corpus Christi is the last of these three special feasts, The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This year that falls on Friday, June 23. The feast of the Sacred Heart recognizes the love of Christ in His total gift of Himself for our salvation, particularly as we see it in the revelation made to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
These three feasts come right after the close of Easter, reminding us that while we are back in ordinary time, the special love of Christ is always with us.