A message from Fr. Chris as we continue in Ordinary Time...
Reflections on Ordinary Time
The Church year has four distinctive seasons, each with a distinctive character, that celebrate a specific mystery of Christ. The seasons are those of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. The rest of the year, either thirty three or thirty four weeks, is called Ordinary Time - not ordinary in the sense that there is nothing special celebrated during these weeks, but only in the sense that this time is not a liturgical season. There are two periods of Ordinary Time. The first period of Ordinary Time begins on the Monday after the Christmas season and ends with the Baptism of Our Lord on January 9th. This is the shorter of the two periods of ordinary time — six weeks. The second, longer period of Ordinary Time begins on the Monday following Pentecost Sunday and it ends with the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent. We are now in the longer period of Ordinary Time. As always, we gather in church from week to week, no matter whether it be in Ordinary Time or in one of the great liturgical seasons, to celebrate the paschal mystery, the mystery of Christ’s dying and rising. So in a very real sense there is no time that is “ordinary” as it is in and through all our days that we live out the mystery of our salvation.
Most of us live ordinary lives with ordinary days in which we know our best and our worst self and everything in-between. We have our days when, with a bounce in our step, we are able to bring joy, patience, and gratitude to others, and days when we need hope, trust, and a forgiving heart to put one foot in front of the other. It is in these ordinary days that the extraordinary mystery of God’s faithful love accomplishes saints-in-the-making.
Nightly news makes the extraordinary a part of our ordinary days —acts of terrorism, burning tower blocks, political and economic uncertainty. Our prayers are stretched to every corner of the globe. We need to keep remembering that each ordinary day is wrapped in God’s saving love and each day gives us another chance to follow and serve Christ.
For the transformation of ourselves and of our world we must live intentionally within and out from the magnificent gesture of God’s saving help and his unimaginable love of us and for us. The wisdom of the liturgical year reminds us of this. Our ordinary lives are holy because it is here we experience who we are and who our God is for us.