Church Life,  Faith and Life

Into Ordinary Time

The green Tabernacle veil symbolises the return of the liturgical year to ‘Ordinary Time’ – that is, the period outwith Advent, Lent and Eastertide (which ended on Sunday past). This ‘ordinary time’ will continue now until the end of the year and the return of Advent – but that’s a long way off yet.

Although called ‘ordinary’, this time is really anything but. It is the day to day life of the Church and of the Christian – and that is never ordinary. Those ordinary moments are the mainstay of life – and the ones wherein we most often find the numerous little ways of living out our calling as Christians.

I suppose in some ways this might be a reflection of what is recounted in the Gospels – many of those ‘bigger’ events are the great feasts we now celebrate; and yet, there must have been so very many other moments whose details are not told in the Gospels and of which we know nothing at all. And yet, in those moments, as in all those we do know about, the Lord was still the Lord and was no doubt doing wonderful things.

We, too, have the chance to do wonderful things. Usually very small things, although sometimes truly great – but what counts is not the size of those things, but the way in which we do them, the spirit in which they are undertaken. Or of you want to put it most simply of all – how much we love.

Because that, really, is what it all comes down to – how much we love; love of God, and then love of neighbour. And for the sake of clarity – our neighbour is everyone. Absolutely everyone, without exclusion or exception.

Most of us, standing the before the Lord in judgement one day, will have few great things to speak of – but all of us will have numerous little things of which we will be asked to give an account.

“Did you love me?” He will ask; “did you love Me in that homeless person, or that divorced woman, or this man struggling with his faith?”.

It might sound ordinary. But to do it – and to do it well, even perfectly, day after day after day – well, that takes something quite extraordinary.

A Catholic writer living in the United Kingdom

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