by Clyde Ericson H. Nolasco
Up on A Sycamore
We are just halfway through 2020 and yet we can already say that indeed this year is extraordinary.
We were welcomed by the flaming bushes in Australia and with the 5.5 magnitude Turkey earthquake. Taal eruptions ushered us through January plus a threat of World War III.
And to top all these, most of us are still in lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are already six million cases globally and science says that a vaccine is yet to be developed while most lives are affected because of the economic meltdown.
If those are not enough for 2020 to be extraordinary, here’s more:
UFO videos were officially released by the Pentagon; it was reported that NASA may have spotted a parallel universe where time runs backward (although eventually said to be fake news); there’s locust attack in India; and DR Congo reports new cases of Ebola epidemic.
As countries declared lockdown or “quarantine”, while the Philippine government played down the situation, religious gatherings were also prohibited. We spent half of Lent and the whole Easter Season inside our homes as public masses and gatherings were not allowed.
We commemorated the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus online. It is as if we were watching Jesus being crucified at the top of Golgotha from afar. Though the rock of Jesus’ tomb was moved open, we remained inside our homes as instructed.
We are still in lockdown even as a new liturgical season begins. We are now in the Ordinary Time.
As the civil year is divided into months, the liturgical or the church year is divided into seasons such as Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and the Ordinary Time.
The Ordinary Time is a two-time period, one after Christmas and one after the Pentecost. I would like to describe it as the most subtle among the seasons. The grand events in Jesus’ life are not our focus for this season. Instead, we are invited to look at His life as one of us. We are invited to reflect as He walks with us, as He teaches, heals and makes miracles.
The word “ordinary” comes from the Latin word ordinalis (a series) that stems from the word ordo which means order. The Ordinary Time presents to us the numbered, ordered weeks of the Church, the unfolding series of events in our Catholic life outside of the celebration of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.
BUT 2020 seems to be so different that the “order” of things is not followed. Events pan overwhelmingly from natural calamities to diseases. However, this turn of events proves to us that humanity can go beyond extraordinary.
Life situations did not hinder us from extending our hand to each other during this trying time. Help has flowed generously between neighbors, among cities, and even beyond territories.
While in quarantine, most would spend their time discovering their creativities with newfound skills or hobbies. We are mastering our adaptive capabilities as we go to online schooling and work from our homes.
In these uncertain times, our God remains an extraordinary God.
He is a God that allows us to grow as we face trials along our way. He is a God that lets us overcome struggles we face each day.
He is an extraordinary God that never fails to love us even in and beyond the Ordinary Time.
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary...
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. Hail Mary...
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. Hail Mary...
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.