Extraordinary Ordinary Time

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With the feast of Christ’s Baptism yesterday, we enter back into what we now call ‘Ordinary Time’, perhaps an unfortunate term, – for no time is ‘ordinary’ in our eschatological Catholic perspective. On the contrary, everything is extraordinary, leading us to eternity. Life is an adventure, a pilgrimage to the eternal bliss of heaven. Whatever happens on ‘this side’ is sort of secondary. Keep your eyes on the prize, dear reader.

But that is the fallacy of equivocation. For ‘ordinary’ here means not ‘humdrum’, but is derived from from the ordinal numbers after which the Sundays are now named, with yesterday being the ‘First’, next Sunday the ‘Second’, all the way to the Christological ’33’ Sundays to the end of the year…

There was a benefit to the more descriptive titles of the usus antiquior, named after the festive or liturgical cycle, and the feasts that preceded the Sundays, as in ‘second Sunday after Pentecost’, or ‘Septuagesima’ Sunday. Speaking of the old rite, Epiphany-tide went until the feast of the Presentation, so keep up that spirit of Christmas!

Such is part and parcel of any number of things needed with deep liturgical renewal. Someday, dear reader, patience is rewarded, one way or another; by it, as Christ says, we will gain our souls. +