The longest period in the Church’s liturgical year is the second period of Ordinary Time, and boy, does it feel like it this time of year. When we get to the thirtieth, thirty-first, thirty-second, and thirty-third Sundays in Ordinary Time, it can start to feel like we’ll never get out of the doldrums of plain old Ordinary Time.
But Ordinary Time isn’t called “ordinary” because there isn’t anything special about it. It is called “ordinary” in the sense that we are ordering our weeks (with ordinal numbers). We are counting the weeks until we enter a special season of the church such as Advent when we prepare for Christmas, or Lent when we prepare for Easter.
So, how do we make Ordinary Time feel less ordinary? Treat it like a journey. The Gospel readings during Ordinary Time often tell us of Jesus’ public ministry, the places he preached about the Kingdom of God, and the reasons why God the Father sent His Son into the world. They tell us, most notably, the parables that Jesus used to convey truths about His Father’s Kingdom.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows that we need ideas we can relate to in order to understand just a little bit what the Kingdom of Heaven is. So Jesus uses comparative language: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” Through Jesus, God speaks to us, even today, in terms we can understand.
If we treat Ordinary Time as a journey to discover the truth about God’s Kingdom, we are in essence walking a journey of faith. Be mindful of this journey as we take the last few steps in the coming weeks. Journeys can often be transformative. How will you allow God to change you in these last few weeks leading up to Advent?