With Pentecost now past us we have entered the long stretch of time in the church calendar called ordinary time. Ordinary time is the season between Pentecost (the celebration of the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church) and The Reign of Christ Sunday (when we celebrate the kingship of Christ and his authority over heaven and earth). Unlike Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and other days and seasons of celebration and preparation Ordinary time is a season of regular days.
The danger of ordinary time is that if we aren’t careful we might let the regularity of the season slide us into a state of forgetfulness. In other words we might take the title ordinary too seriously. It is important for us to remember that the ordinariness of this season is an ordinary that is defined by the incarnation, cross, and resurrection. This ordinary time is not one where the victory of Easter has yet to happen, but rather it is an ordinariness that has been baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ. This is why, regardless of season, every Sunday is considered a “little” Easter aka a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and victory over sin and death.
So what does ordinary time look like or offer us?
Whereas Advent through Easter focuses on the life and ministry of Jesus, Ordinary time is focused on the Church. This is the time in which we remember those early years of the Church and the mission of the Apostles, it is also the time when we remember that we too are the Church and as such are called to be the body of Christ in the world. While other seasons offer us time to concentrate on themes and practices focused on Christ’s life, this season is the time when we get to focus on how we should always be living. This is when we get to recommit ourselves to the proclamation of the Gospel, the formation of people in the Christian life, and the care of those who are sick, hungry, homeless, and oppressed.
Ordinary time is only so ordinary as the resurrected life of Christ has become ordinary in our own lives. Ordinary time reminds us that the Christian life is one for every day and every season, not just Sundays and not just Christmas or Easter. What has become ordinary for us in Christ is extraordinary for the rest of the world and it is this good news that we are called to proclaim in word and deed to the ends of the earth.
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! -2 Corinthians 5:17