Ordinary Times

Receiving communion from Father Leonard at Capernaum Peter Church, Israel

It took three years to be certified to teach adult catechism. As I returned to my service to God as a Catholic (after leaving for 15 years), I had to acclimate to the calling.  Sunday, January 14, 2018, was my second class of teaching catechism, and the lesson was to reflect on the reading (1 Sam 3:3b-10,19, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20 and John 1:35-42). We are all called to serve God; to some, our calling comes early in life and to others as adults. The adults in the class are all making a commitment to serve God as Catholics, and this is a one year process, in which catechumens must attend RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). These catechumens are not influenced by peer pressure or parents because it is truly a calling at this time of their lives. Each of them has a story, but the common bond is the love for God. Some are moved to tears of joy as they share their experiences, some to tears of pain that lead them to where they are. It does not matter to God where we are when we say yes because He always there waiting. The Holy Spirit is patient but is also referred to as the Hound of heaven, which means that God never gives up on us, we are the ones that do that by not giving up our sinful nature.

About two years ago a friend of mine attended a non-Christian wedding in which the bride and groom were unequally yoked. The person officiating the service asked the bride if she wanted to become the same religion as her husband. A few words were exchanged and she was yoked into her husband’s belief.

It’s not that easy to serve God. A commitment is more than simple words, it’s when your mind, heart, and spirit come together in agreement that what you are feeling bring a sovereign sense of peace.

Before I teach each class, I have to be prayed up, be in the Spirit, and have a clear understanding of the Scripture. I want to be certain that what I am teaching is in alignment with the Word of God.

Father Leonard consecrating the Eucharist  at the House of Mary, Mt. Koressos Ephesus, Turkey
Alida washing my feet in the Upper Room, Old City Jerusalem

Before attending the classes to become a teacher, I wanted to become an Eucharist Minister (EM). To become a EM, a person must attend a meeting and training. I remember the night before I was to give out communion when I could not sleep. I wanted to make sure that what I was doing was pleasing to God. I kept thinking that I might trip coming down the the few steps or that I was just unworthy of the task. Mike  was sitting next to me when it was time for me to go up. He nudged me and said, “Don’t trip.” Such comforting words to a mind that was racing with many doubts. It has been almost three years and I continue with my service as an EM, participating in daily  Mass. I was explaining to the catechumens that as an EM, if there is any wine left over in the cup we must consume it ourselves. Why? Because it has been  consecrated and represents the blood of Christ. Jesus instituted the New Covenant in the Upper Room at the Last  Supper. Jesus first washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them the Bread and Wine. This is mentioned in all of the Gospels, because it is of utmost importance.

Matthew 26:26-28King James Version (KJV)

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Outdoor Mass in Patmos, Greece

As a teacher, I am also being catechized with these studies. We are in “Ordinary Times” which means it is not a part of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter.  The Latin meaning of ordinary is “in order or sequence.” The first week or Ordinary Times was in celebration of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. All Sundays have the numbers in the titles of what we celebrate. I am learning this for the first time.

Wherever you travel in the world, the Catholic Mass will have the same reading, the communion rituals, etc. You do not have to know the language because we already know what to expect.

My Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, I pray for those that are still in limbo and asking if you are real. Reveal yourself to them, let them understand that with You in their lives all things are made better. Give them hope in their uncertainty and allow them to feel Your perfect love. Amen





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