The Christmas tree and crèche are put away for another year. The poinsettia is dying – at least it is at the hands of this green-less thumb! After the hopeful waiting and watching of Advent and the glorious celebrations of the Christmas season, the church has entered Ordinary Time. This season is the longest of the liturgical year, 33-34 weeks in length. Ordinary Time exists between Christmas and Lent, and between Easter and Advent. The Latin term is Tempus Per Annum, meaning `time throughout the year`. The term is also related to ordinal¸ or counting since we count all the weeks of Ordinary Time.
Feasting and celebrating is truly part of who we are as humans. We need party time! But, we also need time to recuperate from the festivities and get on with the business of life. Did you have this conversation with anyone after Christmas?
How was your Christmas?
It was great, but I’m glad to be back into routine.
Routine does not mean humdrum. Routine is the known comfort of daily tasks. Often the tasks are so mundane, repetitive and tedious that we do not see the effects. Yet after numerous diaper changes, baths, meals, story times, packed lunches, loads of laundry, car rides and trips to the doctor and dentist, your children have suddenly turned into adults. In trades and professions, skills are honed in the daily repetition of tasks. Major breakthroughs, inventions and discoveries come after hours of hard work and research. In everything we do, there are major celebrations and mile-stones along the way. But, the growing takes place in the ordinary time.
Is it any wonder that the liturgical color for Ordinary Time is green?