How ordinary is our life?
This is a good question to ask since we currently find ourselves in the season the Church refers to as Ordinary Time. Sandwiched between the Christmas season which ends with the Baptism of the Lord and Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday, this initial and short period of Ordinary Time prevails. The longer stage of Ordinary Time will start after the Easter season concludes on Pentecost and run through the Solemnity of Christ the King at end of November with a new season of Advent and new liturgical year to follow.
As such, what is Ordinary Time all about? The gospel accounts provided during these weeks give us a clue. In this initial and shorter period of the season the focus is on the establishment of Jesus’ public ministry and his announcement of the Kingdom. Jesus interestingly states “the Kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21) as he tries to raise awareness that the extraordinary life God wants to bestow upon people is something already possessed, but which needs to be noticed and nurtured. His teachings aim at helping people see reality differently and make choices that enhance their life. The message is simple: the extraordinary life we seek is already present in our ordinary lives if we but see and sow differently. This obviously requires reflection and conversion attained through prayer and grace. We need God’s help to be amazed at and appropriate the “treasure we hold in earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
As we journey with Jesus throughout this season may he indeed help us to see and sow differently in our lives and we might be pleasantly surprised by what we discover. The Kingdom of God is in our midst. The extraordinary is not far away. It is in the here and now. Ordinary Time and our own life may not be so ordinary after all.
Very Rev. Jose Alvarez, V.F.
Pastor, Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church