Last Sunday we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord and concluded our celebration of Christmas. On Monday, we woke up not only to clear away the piles of snow that fell the previous day, but also to begin observing Ordinary Time in the Church calendar.
Ordinary Time comprises the weeks of the year that do not include Advent, Christmas, Lent and Eastertide. The term is a little bit of a misnomer. This period (actually it is two periods – the Monday following the Baptism of Our Lord up to Ash Wednesday; and from Pentecost Monday up to the First Sunday of Advent) is not ordinary.
The term Ordinary Time comes from the ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) of how the weeks are counted. It does not mean humdrum, boring, non-exciting. In a way, it is good that Ordinary Time recommences at the start of a new year. As we commit ourselves to the resolutions we made at the start of the calendar year, we can also commit to spiritual resolutions at the start of Ordinary Time.
This period – while it does not end with an extraordinary celebration such as Easter or Christmas – is still a time to spiritually prepare. It is a time to live our faith day-in and day-out with our eyes not necessarily focused on a holiday or feast day, but on an eternity with God in heaven.
Ordinary Time is indeed an extraordinary time to increase our faithfulness to God and His Church, to live that faith in which we profess a belief, and to anxiously look forward to the paradise that awaits us.