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After all the Christmas liturgical seasonal celebrations, we are now back in “Ordinary Time”. This is the longest liturgical season in the year and lasts 33 to 34 weeks, in two chunks, one short and the other long. The first after the Epiphany until the beginning of Lent and then again after Pentecost, lasting until Advent.
So here we are, in Ordinary Time, in the month of February, waiting for Lent to begin. Someone once described February as a claustrophobic month. We can’t get out of it, just plough through its cold and miserable weather. Valentine’s Day brightens up the month with love and kindness, but then along comes Ash Wednesday, reminding us that we are all sinners and need to do penance before we die.
But the good news is that right now, before Lent, we are in Ordinary Time. This liturgical season reminds us that God’s Kingdom can be seen in the ordinary activities of our daily lives.
We are called to be saints in our ordinariness.
Jesus’ ministry on earth serves as an example to each of us that God is ready to use us in our ordinariness as His messengers on earth. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, this liturgical season of Ordinary Time, while not as exciting as Christmas or as penitential as Lent, gives each of us a chance to quietly demonstrate kindness, gentleness and caring in the ordinary moments of our lives and to recognize the gifts given by others in their ordinariness.
There are so many groups in our parish who, by their ordinary actions are calling us all to holiness. Here are just a few:
The ushers, who are the first people we see upon entering the church on Sunday and who welcome and gently guide parishioners to their place.
All those who plan, cook, do dishes, set up, clean up, etc., for parish activities such as last Friday’s Ham supper.
The Refugee Committee, working quietly, patiently and with determination behind the scenes, to bring and welcome refugees to our parish.
Family & Children Ministries, guiding our children and families to follow God’s plan.
The Quilting Believers who quietly and generously create beautiful, intricate quilts for those who need them.
Cursillo Groups, connecting us in prayer and actions with Christians all over the world.
Youth leaders and Youth groups who give so much of their time and bring energy, sincerity and generosity to our parish.
Music Ministry, helping us to experience God’s love through the beauty of music.
CWL and Knights of Columbus, the backbone of our parish.
Sacristans, whom we rarely see, just the results of their quiet work.
Social Justice Committee teaching us about fairness and justice in the world.
Those who visit the sick, bringing hope, comfort and joy.
Bible Study groups, helping us to understand God’s Word
These are just a few of the many ordinary groups in our parish, doing ordinary things, quietly, often unseen, building up the Kingdom of God. How many more can you think of?
So, let us celebrate and give thanks for this love and kindness in our parish where we live and move and have our being.
Such concrete ordinary demonstrations of solidarity, love and kindness by so many turn abstract ideas like “The Kingdom of God” into living tangible, visible, ordinary, reality.
Praise God for Ordinariness and Ordinary Time!