Today is the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Two weeks ago I had someone ask, “How are we in the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time? Didn’t we just start Ordinary Time after Pentecost?” Yes and no! It’s a good question because the numbering system is confusing! Ordinary Time began back in January with the First Sunday being supplanted by the Baptism of the Lord. After that, the Sundays are numbered in order Second, Third, etc. The thirty-fourth and final Sunday in Ordinary Time is the Solemnity of Christ the King in November. Ordinary Time is always interrupted by the Lenten and Easter seasons somewhere between the Fourth and Ninth Sundays. It resumes Monday after Pentecost picking up where we left off, or as is the case this year, sometimes dropping a week to ensure the year ends with the Thirty-fourth Week. The reason for needing to end with the thirty-fourth week is because the Gospel readings during daily Mass speak of the end times: perseverance, final tribulations, and the coming of the Son of Man.
The Sunday prior to Lent this year we observed the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Beginning on Monday, May 24, the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time was observed. So where did the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Sundays go? The Seventh Week was dropped this year and the Eighth through Tenth Sundays were superseded by the celebrations of Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, respectively. Obviously, these great feasts are more important than Ordinary Time Sundays, but that means we did miss a portion of the Mark’s Gospel. The Sunday prior to Lent, we heard the end of chapter 1. Today we pick up at Mark 4:26-34. For better context for today’s readings, it would be beneficial to read Mark 2 through Mark 4:25. Even better would be to read all readings for those skipped Sundays! They are numbered 947, 950, 953, and 956 in the hymnal.