With the end of the Christmas season last Sunday we returned to “Ordinary time” in the Church liturgical year. This will last until lent begins on March 6th. By calling these next few weeks “ordinary time”, the Church is NOT telling us that the liturgy is now routine, uneventful, or even boring.
The very word “ordinary” here simply means “put in order”. Think of the term “ordinal numbers”: first, second, third, etc. We had no first Sunday in Ordinary time, because the Baptism of the Lord on January 13th was a feast. But it was followed by the first week in ordinary time. Next Sunday is the second Sunday of ordinary time, followed by the third Sunday, etc. This will go on for 8 weeks, followed by Lent and the Easter season. On the day after Pentecost Sunday we resume Ordinary time once more.
It is true that ordinary time doesn’t focus on the key events of Salvation as do the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. But there is plenty for us to learn during Ordinary time. The very concept of time being “ordered” reminds us that God brought order out of chaos when he created the universe. He is the Lord of history who orders all things, and has a plan for each of our lives.
To gain a better appreciation of this gift of Ordered Time, Read this article by Father Dwight Longenecker. It will make you more aware of how good God is to have put the world—and our lives if we let Him—in order.