Welcome to Ordinary Time. Wow, how exciting does that sound?! Christmas is over, the baptism of the Lord was this past Sunday and today, when the priest processed in for Mass I was thrown off by the green color of his vestment. Where did the time go?!
For most of us, the transition into ordinary time is quite painless. However, this year, maybe it would be good for us to look at ordinary time a little differently and see how the beauty of this church season can make a difference in our lives. In reality, this season is far from ordinary. You with me?
Looking at my own life I am surprised how God works. Over the years I have somehow garnered up this expectation that the way God reveals himself to me is going to be in a drastic, life changing and mighty way. While it is true that God works in this way, it is the experience of most people that God doesn’t come with mighty trumpets, or in powerful storms but through common and everyday happenings. Sure we read Scripture stories where God showed His great power or we hear stories of miracles that have changed peoples lives, but how much do we miss when our expectations are different than what God wants to reveal to us?
The great news is that God wants us to live His providence in every moment, especially the ordinary moments when His presence is ever near. The Church gives us the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter to form us, help to grow in faith, and to convert our hearts to that of Jesus’. The Church also gives us ordinary time to reveal that Jesus continues to give us the same call of conversion and repentance in every season and everyday of the year. What a call!
What does this call demand from us? Something quite extraordinary. In the shadow of Advent and Christmas, the call of ordinary time demands a response to the promise that was given to us by Jesus in the manger - the promise that was foretold by the prophets and the promise that threatened Herod and the society of the day. My friends, it is just not enough to put the manger scene back in the box for another year and act as if just another Christmas season has come and gone. That is exactly what our culture is doing right now. The lights are coming down, the stores are changing out their Christmas items and most people are just moving on. If we have fallen into this, how much we have missed yet again this year!
Ordinary time is a time to respond to the promise given on Christmas. It is a time to make Jesus the center of our lives and recommit to living the lives that Jesus and the Church call us to live. There is nothing common about this response or way of life. At school it could be just a simple smile, being more grateful, working harder in class, including those who are on the outside, or quitting the gossip that ruins friendship. When we respond to Christ in the manger it could be forgiving someone, making wholesome social decisions and even choosing to respect and love our parents and family. How great is this season of ordinary time! How great is the call of our Lord to be anything but ordinary in our response to Him becoming a child for us! What is ordinary time going to be like for you this year?
Take some time to reflect on this new Church season. Sure we miss the romance of Christmas, but let this new season captivate your heart and respond to the Lord in His love for you.
Green is the color and ordinary is the name, but if you respond to our Lord this season, it will be anything but ordinary.
God Bless You,