By Sister Janet McCann, ASC
A few years back, I was teaching a 6th-grade religion class at an inner-city Catholic school with students from a variety of faith traditions. The topic was the liturgical year, and in particular, the colors associated with each season of the liturgical calendar.
During our discussion, Franklin, one of the students said, “Sister Janet, since this is a Catholic school, I think our uniforms should reflect the liturgical seasons.”As he pointed to his green shirt, he continued, “Right now, we are in Advent, but we are wearing Ordinary Time.”
You may have already guessed that Franklin’s focus was really on expanding the uniform options, but I did admire his ability to understand the nuances of the colors and seasons of the Church calendar.
Ordinary Time in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church refers to two periods of time which together make up the majority of the liturgical year. One begins the day after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and ends the day before Ash Wednesday. The other begins the Monday after Pentecost and ends the day before the First Sunday of Advent. The weeks in Ordinary Time are numbered, and the word, “ordinary,” comes from the Latin word, ordo, which refers to ordered time.
While our connotation of the word, “ordinary,” is that which is commonplace and routine, the Sundays and weekdays of Ordinary Time call us to live our lives in imitation of Jesus.
This call draws us into being transformed by the challenges of the Gospels, and extends an invitation to collaborate in the building up of God’s Reign.
St. Maria DeMattias, who founded the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, referred to this as “bringing about that beautiful order of things.”
There isn’t anything ordinary about that.