Saturday, January 18, 2014

Not-so-ordinary time

Green is the colour
Ordinary time is is the game
We're all together
And praying is our aim

For those of you familiar with the tune for which I changed the lyrics, you're most welcome for getting that stuck in your head until lent. For those of you not familiar with the song, take a listen. You're welcome too.

The Catholic Church's liturgical year is officially in ordinary time. It's time to get out the green. A parish priest once stated that green is appropriate for ordinary time because in nature, green represents growth. Springtime comes, everything turns green, grows and flourishes. So too should our faith—minus the turning green part.

Ordinary time is when we follow the progression of Jesus's ministry toward its ultimate goal of the resurrection. We get a glimpse, through the Gospel writers, into the ordinary, everyday life of Jesus, his followers and his ministry.

Hold it a minute. Jesus and ordinary don't really fit. I don't know about your life, but miraculous healings, turning water into wine, preaching to crowds numbering in the thousands that just won't leave you alone, feeding said thousands with a paltry snack, raising people from the dead, and walking on water are not ordinary occurrences in my neck of the woods. Well, maybe the walking on water part is, but there is two feet of ice on top of the water when we do it.

These are pretty extraordinary things, performed by an extraordinary person. And the beauty of the incarnation is that these incredibly extraordinary things have become our shared reality. Not only that, we are called to live the extraordinary through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Not only that, we are called adopted sons and daughters of God through Christ (cf Rom 8:14). Extraordinary!

Ordinary time isn't just filler between Christmas and Lent, or Easter and Advent. It's a time for us to answer what Blessed Pope John Paul II called our universal call to holiness. It's a time to use the ordinary events of life as chances to grow in our faith. It's a time to turn ordinary circumstances into extraordinary opportunities for holiness and service.

As Catholics, there's not much ordinary about ordinary time.

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