For the liturgical year, we have returned to what the Church calls “Ordinary Time,” which refers to the 33 or 34 weeks of the year that are not in the Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter seasons.
The term ordinary does not mean commonplace or unimportant, but rather comes from the Latin words ordo and ordinalis, which imply order, rhythm, method and stability. The readings during Masses in Ordinary Time generally describe the public ministry of Christ, and an overall theme is the regular, steady growth in the Christian life. The color for Ordinary Time is green, which is the color of hope and the regular steady growth that leads to the success of a farm, a community, a nation and the Church.
After all, the prosperity of families and communities, the success of most projects, and the building up of most talents requires above all regular steady application and dedication. And the Christian life is no different. There are certainly times of intense preparation, as in Advent and Lent, and times of celebrations, as with Christmas, Easter and the feasts of the Church. However, most of Jesus’ life on earth was dedicated to seemingly ordinary tasks such as learning as a child, working as a carpenter, taking care of family and neighbor, and joining all of these things to prayer. Likewise, most of a faithful Christian life involves daily effort in the home, workplace, and society, ever guided by sanctity of regular prayer, honest repentance of sins, and openness to the light of grace.
As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops writes in its commentary to the liturgical year, “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.” We are thus called during Ordinary Time especially to focus on how we steadily and consistently build up our own lives of faith, our families and the community and church around us.
And this weekend, along with the next two weekends, we will have a new parish registration drive that will not only be to update information about addresses and telephone numbers, but will also give everyone the opportunity to indicate what sort of activities and devotions that we might be interested in for the parish and the community so that we participate here and now in a springtime of faith.