Ironically, it feels that it is almost always in my most ordinary moments, that I find the most extraordinary things. I want to take deep gulping breaths of the Holy Spirit and exhale all the worldliness that has crept into my heart and crowded out the Lord.
We are not supposed to be satisfied with ordinary. Everywhere we look, we are bombarded by images and voiceovers shouting that this or that is amazing, incredible, tremendous, and of course, extraordinary. But it is always at this time of year that I long for the ordinary. I am tired of the excess, over-the-top, perfect, and flashy of the holiday season. How often have we all pleaded for normal over the past few years?
For me, ordinary does not equal boring. Ordinary means constant and ordered. It means stability and growth. And, ironically, it feels that it is almost always in my most ordinary moments, that I find the most extraordinary things. This is most true for me in the Ordinary Time of the Church Year.
The chaos and glamour of Advent, Christmas, and all the Feasts and Solemnities of December leave me clamoring to remind myself and my family that Jesus needs to be the center of this time! And now, I’m exhausted. I’m ready for the ordinary. I’m ready to just be. I want to rest in Christ now and find a balm for my weariness. I want to hear His Words wash over me and take hold in my heart. I want to take deep gulping breaths of the Holy Spirit and exhale all the worldliness that has crept into my heart and crowded out the Lord. I need the quiet contemplation that comes with a Mass in Ordinary Time.
Because Ordinary Time is when the roots of my faith grow deeper. It’s when my distractions are fewer, and my attentions are greater. I can feel the Holy Spirit stirring in me and bringing me back home. It is this ordinary, ordered time that allows my soul to stretch and expand. I believe that the Lord graced us with these few weeks of ordinary between Christmas and Lent so that we can reorder ourselves to Him.
One of the gospels that stays with me from this time is Mark 3:13: Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. If you read on, this is when Christ calls his twelve disciples and names them as his apostles. But, if you take that verse alone, this is what Christ does to all of us. He calls each one of us, by name, up the mountain because he wants us all and every part of us. And during this Ordinary Time, my heart is quiet enough to hear that call and respond.
Now is the time that I take stock of my relationship with Christ. Have I been letting Him lead me or have I been trying to take the wheel? Have I closed the door on certain parts of myself in which I don’t want the Lord to get involved or I don’t want Him to see? Have I been living out my beliefs each day in a way that tells everyone who meets me that I belong to Christ? Am I sleeping well at night knowing that I have run the race God planned for me that day?
We will hear the Beatitudes in this brief period of Ordinary Time, but this sermon can never be described as such. Blessed are the people that recognize that they are broken. Blessed are the people that recognize that the only cure for this is the Lord. I am exhausted. I am broken. I am growing. I am loved by Him. And I am grateful for the extraordinariness of Ordinary Time.
Elizabeth Kos is still a Catholic woman in progress and continues to learn as much as she can about her faith from the classroom as well as people she meets. Please keep her in your prayers!