How to make the best of time. Ordinary Time is called “ordinary” because the weeks are numbered. The Latin word ordinalis, which refers to numbers in a series, stems from the Latin word ordo, from which we get the English word order. Thus, Ordinary Time is in fact the ordered life of the Church—the period in which we live our lives neither in feasting (as in the Christmas and Easter seasons) or in more severe penance (as in Advent and Lent), but in watchfulness and expectation of the Second Coming of Christ.
According to the liturgical calendar there are two seasons of Ordinary Time: Epiphanytide and Trinitytide. The first (Epiphanytide) begins after Christmas and ends with Lent. The second (Trinitytide) begins after Eastertide and Pentecost with Trinity Sunday and continues throughout the summer and fall until Advent.
If the centering message of Eastertide is, “Behold, I am making all things new!” (Revelation 21:5), then the corresponding message of Ordinary Time is “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5: 25)
By the design and grace of God, we live most of our lives in ordinary time. By the design and grace of God, we are to live in and through these times learning to walk by the Spirit that has so graciously been poured out upon us.
So how do we do that? Let me suggest a way:
First, commit to reading the Daily Office during this Ordinary Time – as the Spirit speaks to us in and through the Word of God.
Second, as you read (prayerfully) ask yourself two questions: “What is the Spirit saying to me through this?” and “What am I doing with what I am hearing?’” If you are brave and honest, ask a third: “What prevents me from acting on what I am hearing?”
Third, ask a friend (or two) to join in on the fun; commit to getting together biweekly to share what you are hearing and to help each other walk in accordance with it.
If we all did this, we would find that Ordinary Times may produce Extraordinary Lives. It is how the Risen and Exalted Christ is making all things new!