Monday, January 11, 2016

There's Nothing Ordinary about Ordinary Time

The Monday after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord beings the first week of "Ordinary Time" on the church's calendar.  Ordinary Time is the longest of the church's 6 liturgical seasons (the other seasons are: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter Triduum, and Easter) spanning nearly 34 weeks of every year, and is interspersed between those other seasons, culminating with the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe, which occurs on the Sunday preceding the first Sunday of Advent. 

The name "Ordinary Time" is derived from the ordinal numbers used to count its weeks (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and has nothing to do with any "ho-hum" quality to the season.  The Latin term used to describe the season is "tempus per annum", or time throughout the year. 

The  liturgical color (or the color worn by the priest when he celebrates Mass, and used to adorn the altar and sanctuary) is green - which is the symbol of life and hope.  The Mass readings during Ordinary time are dedicated to the Life and Teachings of Jesus.

So what's all this "ordinary" business got to do with the tag line of this blog - "striving for the heights of holiness in the trenches of everyday life?" I mean, isn't the journey to holiness supposed to be exciting?  Filled with adventures? Look at the saints, look at the martyrs!  Look at St. Peter walking on water - action and adventure abound - right?  Wrong.

For most of us, our journey to holiness happens right smack in the middle of the ordinary routine of every day life.  Few of us are called to the sacrifice of the martyrs, or the heroic adventures of St. Paul, or the brilliant writing and teaching of Saint John Paul II or even to the radical service of Mother Theresa. All of us, however, are called to sanctify each and every ordinary moment of our lives - to make holy the washing of the dishes, the preparing of dinner, and the endless meetings at the office. 

Throughout Ordinary time we reflect on the life and teachings of Jesus - which are anything but ordinary.  Through our mediations, we come to realize, that life lived in Christ, for Christ and through Christ, is an extraordinary adventure - one which can exceed even our wildest dreams. 

Growing in the knowledge of the infinite and unconditional love that God the Father has for each of us and discovering the gifts he has bestowed upon each of us is an epic adventure - truly the journey of a lifetime.  It is through the love of God that we can "baptize" the ordinary moments of our lives - turning them into extraordinary encounters with God's grace and mercy.  Even what looks like the dullest, most mundane task can be the setting for prayer, sacrifice, and miracles.  No "ordinary" moment is excluded from the extraordinary action of God's grace and when touched by that grace - it can be transformed into the heroic, the holy.

Our God is a big God - throughout this season or Ordinary Time,
ask him to do the extraordinary in your life!


  1. "Even what looks like the dullest, most mundane task can be the setting for prayer, sacrifice, and miracles." I needed this reminder! Thank you :)

    1. Thanks you for stopping by! I think we all need the reminder! Have a blessed "Ordinary Time"!

  2. Replies
    1. Ditto, Lexie! Thanks for the comment and the tweet! God bless your "Ordinary Time."