As we await the Lenten season, Father Raymond Lebrun, Spiritual Director at the Basilica, reflects on what Ordinary Time means for the faithful and how God’s promises and fulfillment are celebrated throughout the Liturgical Year.
Through the Liturgical Year, the Church creates an opportunity for its members to remember, celebrate, and relive the major events of Salvation History in a historical order connecting past, present, and future. However, there is more to the program than the passage of time. We can identify a positive development in God’s saving presence from good, to better, to best.
This process is expressed in the formula “promise and fulfillment.” What is done and said by God at an early period contains the “seed” of future and greater results. Eventually, it is Jesus, the Word made Flesh, who picks up in every way where the Old Testament left off. All of the great events, personalities, and institutions of that period point to what He would reveal and accomplish in His phase of God’s Reign.
Having in principle personally fulfilled the “old” promises through His death and glorious resurrection, He then proceeds through the Church and in the Spirit to activate for each future generation the benefits contained in what He has accomplished. This He does in Word and Sacrament each Liturgical Year until He returns in Glory, bringing the Reign beyond space and time.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.
– Philippians 3:20-21
Father Raymond Lebrun is the Spiritual Director of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Father Lebrun is a priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and was ordained in 1968. Serving the Basilica since 2001, Father Lebrun provides spiritual direction to pilgrims and visitors, and he assists the poor and needy who come to the National Shrine seeking assistance.