As I write this, it is the Monday in the Second Week of Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Calendar.
During the last seven weeks, we had a whirlwind of liturgical events. We had four weeks of Advent followed by Christmastide, which, as if it wasn't significant enough, included the Feast of the Holy Family (Dec 28th) and the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God (Jan 1st). The season wrapped up with Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (Jan 4th) and the Feast of the Lord's Baptism (Jan 11th).
Now we're in "Ordinary Time" until Lent begins (Feb 18th). So is this time to rest, to catch our spiritual breath in between the periods of Christmas and Lent? I think a lot of Catholics think so. Heck, if I'm being honest, I've been inclined to think so too in the past. We think, "Well, this is just Ordinary Time, nothing special is going on now."
Maybe. But then again, maybe not. It might just be there is something "special" going on every day of the year, regardless of what liturgical season we are in. I was reminded of that tonight when I was doing evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. The Canticle from Monday's Evening Prayer (Week II) is from Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. Part of it reads:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (Eph 1:3-6, RSVCE).
Don't you see? God knew and chose us before ever creating the world! He loved us so much that he destined us to be his adopted sons and daughters!
That's it, Christopher? That is what you are so excited about?
Yes!! Aren't you? Isn't that enough?!?
We are used to marking significant events throughout out the year: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. They help to pace our lives and give meaning to it. These annual events help us recall special times and allow us to reflect year after year on those moments that define us.
The liturgical calendar serves the same purpose allowing us the opportunity to reflect more deeply on the events of salvation history, the moments that truly define who we are as God's children. Bishop David Motiuk, Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, calls the liturgical year "a love story retold each year so that we may come to love the One who is Love."
Regardless of where we are in the liturgical calendar, even if its just Ordinary Time, there is nothing ordinary about being a child of God. Every day is extraordinary!