The Church is back in Ordinary Time on its liturgical calendar. For a lot of people (including myself) there are a lot things about the Church that are hard to comprehend, but calling this time of the year \’ordinary\’ sounds not only a no-brainer but also appropriate. With the pains of Good Friday completely healed and with very little of the joy from the Resurrection left over, things has become rather ordinary at the church these days. Even Walmart knows this – they usually wait until after the July4th weekend to put out the Christmas decorations. It is as if the Church has given a free pass to all its followers to go and do other things without worrying much about penance and other obligations. After all, we all believe in taking breaks; so how can an average believer (that would be me, again) be at fault for assuming that Ordinary Time is the Church\’s way of telling its followers to take a break!
Due to the connotations of the term \”ordinary\”, which is normally used to describe things that have no distinctive features, many people misunderstand Ordinary Time as unimportant. But nothing could be further from the truth – there is nothing uninteresting about Ordinary Time. It is called Ordinary Time because the weeks are numbered. So Ordinary Time is not just any ordinary time, but it is when Church does things in order (as in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, … week of the season). Ordinary Time consists of 33 weeks (sometimes 34) and celebrated in two segments: from the Monday following the Baptism of Jesus to Ash Wednesday, and from the Monday following Pentecost to first Sunday of Advent. Obviously, it is also the largest season of the liturgical year.
The liturgical color during Ordinary Times is usually green, the color of hope and growth. During these 33 weeks, the Church calls us to meditate upon the whole mystery of Christ. This is an opportunity for every catholic to grow in his/her faith. With the absence festivities such as Christmas and Easter, and penance such as Advent and Lent, the faithful are encouraged to put their faith to work. It is a time to \”walk by faith, not by sight\” (2 Corinthians 5:7). During this time, all of us are to strive to become messengers of the Gospel by strengthening our prayer life by meditating the Scriptures, and also aspire to rekindle our love of Christ through Eucharistic devotion.
The first segment of the Ordinary Time focuses on the childhood and public ministry of Jesus Christ. The second segment, the one we are in currently, focuses more on the role of the Church in preparing us for the second coming of Christ. And it is only appropriate that this segment goes hand in hand with summer season. We usually only notice the bustling greens of the nature during summer, but silently it is preparing for the fall and the winter. Like nature, the Church is also reminding us to use the green filled Ordinary Time to prepare ourselves to process through the impending descent and death into the glory of eternal life.
© 2013. Emmanuel Joseph. All Rights Reserved.