30th July 2021
BLENDING LITURGICAL SEASONS OF LIFE
Lv 23:1. 4-11. 15-16. 27. 34b-37,
Liturgical Year, with its seasons, solemnities, feasts and memorials is not something that began with the birth of Christianity. The Mosaic Religion had also its own kind of ‘Liturgical Year’ that was marked with Religious Festivals and Sacred days.
Leviticus Chapter 23, from where the first reading of today is taken from, explains the Mosaic Religion Liturgical Year with its seasons or festivals; “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them” Lev 23:1.
Those festivals or seasons included;
- Passover and Unleavened Bread Festival (Num 28:16-25)
- The Harvest Festival (Num 28:26-31)
- The New Year Festival (Num 29:1-6)
- The Day of Atonement (Num 29: 7-11)
- The Festival of the Shelters (Num 29:12-40)
The above Festivals were solemn days for the Jews because through them, they celebrated the saving work of God in their lives. Even though these festivals and seasons were solemn liturgical actions for the Jews, often than not, there was no agreement between the liturgical celebrations and the daily life of the people; “The Lord said, ‘These people claim to worship me, but their words are meaningless, and their hearts are somewhere else. Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized.’” Is 29:13. The religious festivals never transformed the lives of the people.
For us, as Catholics, we have our own Liturgical Calendar with its seasons and festivals in which we celebrate the saving work of Jesus Christ. The liturgical calendar helps us to appreciate the sacredness of time, it gives shape and meaning to the year, and each season brings new significance. As we go through the different Liturgical seasons of the year, do we purpose to blend what we celebrate in them with our lives?
Jesus blended liturgy and life into authentic harmony. He began his word at Nazareth by quoting from Isaiah, about “glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight for the blind and release for prisoners.” This was his response to the Year of Jubilee, discussed later in Leviticus.
He encountered stiff, envious resistance in his home town. Seeing that they lacked an open heart to welcome a generous God, he could work very few miracles there. We might reflect on our own blend of our liturgical seasons and our life.
How do the liturgical seasons affect my daily life?
- Does the celebration of the Day of the Lord (Sunday) help me to, weekly, renew my commitment to the service and worship of God
- Does the Advent Season help me to appreciate the daily presence of Jesus in my life? Does it also help me to remain in watchfulness and expectation of the Second Coming of Christ?
- Does Christmas Season challenge us to be reborn in faith with Christ
- Does the Ordinary Time help me to appreciate Christ, the Lamb of God, who walks among us and transforms our lives?
- Does the Lenten Season help me to answer the call to a true inner conversion of heart as I seek to follow Christ's will more faithfully?
- Does the Paschal Sacred Triduum help me to celebrate the love that knows no barriers?
- Does the Easter Season bring with it light, warmth and hope in my life?
Liturgical seasons are meaningless and empty if they do not enrich and transform our lives. The liturgical seasons are supposed to challenge us to be ‘other Christ’ as we celebrate Christ’s entire mystery, from his Incarnation and birth until his Ascension, the day of Pentecost, and the expectation of his return in glory.