Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Ordinary Time Is Anything But Ordinary

Tim Lilley

This column is all about that headline – Ordinary Time is anything but ordinary. During the liturgical year, we spend more weeks in Ordinary Time than in Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter. OK; so, what actually is Ordinary Time?

From here, it is our time of action. Consider this slightly longer explanation/description from the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

“Christmas Time and Easter Time highlight the central mysteries of the Paschal Mystery – namely, the incarnation, death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time, on the other hand, take us through the life of Christ. This is the time of conversion. This is living the life of Christ.

“Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ. The goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.”

Now, consider these two paragraphs about the liturgical year from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:1172 "In celebrating this annual cycle of the mysteries of Christ, Holy Church honors the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, with a special love. She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her Son. In her the Church admires and exalts the most excellent fruit of redemption and joyfully contemplates, as in a faultless image, that which she herself desires and hopes wholly to be."

1173 “When the Church keeps the memorials of martyrs and other saints during the annual cycle, she proclaims the Paschal mystery in those ‘who have suffered and have been glorified with Christ. She proposes them to the faithful as examples who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God's favors.’"

Think about that. Most of our saints’ memorials occur during Ordinary Time. Contemplate what those memorials embody. In them, we remember and celebrate the acts that the saints performed on their way to eternal glory.

At every Mass, we can receive encouragement and ideas on how we can live the life of Christ from the Word of God – if we truly pay attention to the readings. Father Dusty Burns, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Evansville and St. Philip Parish in Posey County, recently Tweeted an idea that will benefit us all. He posted, “Before you go to Mass take 10 minutes to read the scriptures for the liturgy. You'll be surprised at how much more you pick up and absorb.”

“This is living the life of Christ.”

We are all called to sainthood. Maybe we should focus on making our personal Ordinary Time anything but ordinary.