THIS IS THE STANDARD BY WHICH WE LIVE
First Corinthians 6:18-19
Brothers and Sisters,
The holy seasons of Advent and Christmas are big times for us to reinvigorate our practice of the Holy Faith. However, even the additional devotions that happen during these seasons can add stress to the period. All-the-same these seasons tend to get so busy that they can fly by so quickly that we miss the fullness of the opportunity.
Getting back into Ordinary Time can be sad as well; when the Christmas decorations, lights, and trees come down it can seem like there is something missing. When the Christmas parties end, there can be a real sense of an absence. The liturgy of the Ordinary season can also feel similar – with the seasonal décor of the Sanctuary being gone even the Church building can seem too-simplified.
The term “ordinary” in the Church, however, does not mean anything like normal, boring, typical, dreary, or uninteresting. When the Church brings us into the season of ORDINARY Time, She uses “ordinary” to mean “the standard,” or “the benchmark;” you could also think of it as the model, example, or the guideline. The break from the special, holy seasons give us the opportunity to make sure that our daily prayers, our practice of the Holy Faith, and our whole lives are up to par.
For example, in the busyness of Christmas shopping, card writing, and party going we may have noticed that we haven’t given our daily prayers their due attention and time.
Another example: perhaps during the beginning of the Winter with its darker hours, colder winds, and bitter chills we may have let our sense of charity fall and maybe have been rude or unkind to others.
These simple things can happen even completely by accident or from letting our guard down through putting our time and attention on our parties, cards, and shopping. Now that we are firmly back in Ordinary Time, let’s all take a strong look at our lives. Let’s each see how our daily prayers have been going; let’s evaluate how strong an example we have been for others in the Holy Faith.
While these first weeks of Ordinary Time are themselves short, it can be enough time to get ourselves up to the highest of Christian standards. Soon we will be getting ready to start the season of Lent, so let’s get ready now so that we’re not playing catch-up during the penitential season.
God be near,