Today we begin Ordinary Time, which will last until theFirst Sunday in Advent. This doesn’t mean that life is ordinary; for most of us,our lives have enough activity to keep us busy. Ordinary Time is a season ofits own; it’s an in-between season, from Easter to Advent.
 As New Jersey starts to open up with indoor and outdoorcapacities increasing, we still need to proceed with caution because of thenumber of people who are not vaccinated. There was an article in the newspaperthe other day that stated that 1 in 6 residents of New Jersey will not getvaccinated. Hopefully, the unvaccinated will continue to wear masks to protectall of us. I’ve kept the restrictions and mask-wearing in place in church forthe foreseeable future.
 In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that the Word forms andguides us, as he becomes more of a presence in our lives. What we understand asadults is certainly different than what we understood as children. Throughformation begun by our parents and nurtured by the church, we have become moreaware of the presence of Jesus in our lives. But we have also come tounderstand what our responsibilities are as his followers. We are alwaysreminded that we are a sign of Jesus for each other and for all we meet, and sowe are to speak and act accordingly.
 Following Jesus is not that difficult. It requires faith inhim and in ourselves. It also takes a willingness to follow the example he hasset for us because he leads us to the Father and to each other. Following himis also a way to enrich our lives and the lives of others. It is also anopportunity to experience the gift he is for us in the midst of our lives.Because of his presence in our lives, they can never be ordinary!
 As we begin to prepare for summer, with barbecues andvisits to the shore, it is good to be aware that there are more childrenplaying outside. Sometimes, children don’t think, and they may dart out infront of traffic to retrieve a ball. We are the ones who have to think and actaccordingly.
HAPPY ORDINARY TIME!!!
FR. JOE

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