Starting this past Monday, the Church entered its longest season of the liturgical year — often called Ordinary time. Technically speaking, it isn’t actually a season, but rather the time between the major seasons of the church calendar. The longest stretch of Ordinary time reaches from the Monday after the Feast of Pentecost (June 10 this year) all the way until the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent. There is another, shorter chunk of time that is also often considered Ordinary time between the Feast of the Baptism of Christ and Ash Wednesday. Since the liturgical color for Ordinary time is green, we sometimes speak of these as “green seasons.” (There are some who do not consider the winter stretch to be Ordinary time but rather an extension of the Epiphany season – that’s a meditation for another day!)
It might seem like we are now just waiting to get to the next big season, Advent, or at least to the next principal feast day, which will be All Saints Day on November 1 (after Trinity Sunday, this coming Sunday, June 16, that is). But actually, Ordinary time gives us a chance to reflect on and put into practice the gifts of the resurrection we celebrated during Eastertide. It invites us to pay attention to how we are living our lives in light of our faith, how we might follow Jesus more closely as his disciples. The challenge of Ordinary time is to use the everyday experiences of our lives to grow more and more into the people God created us to be. And the gift of Ordinary time is to be attentive to all the ways that God is present to us, in the special and holy times, but also, and perhaps most especially in all the most mundane aspects of our lives. With that in mind, I offer this blessing (slightly revised) from Tess Ward’s The Celtic Wheel of the Year:
The blessings of God in Ordinary time be upon me.
Blessings when I take a bath or take the trash out.
Blessings when I am doing nothing in particular.
Blessings on the little things that catch my eye.
Blessings on the quirkiness of the thoughts that belong to me
that you alone know and love this day.