ORDINARY TIME IN THE LITURGICAL YEAR
Now that Christmas is over, we are back in “Ordinary Time” and the liturgical colour of the season is green. Ordinary Time refers to the liturgical periods that fall outside the major seasons such as Advent, Lent, Christmas and Easter, and there are two such periods – after Epiphany and after Pentecost.” Prior to the changes of the Second Vatican Council they were known as “Sundays after Epiphany” and “Sundays after Pentecost.” Ordinary Time begins on the Monday after the first Sunday after January 6th. There is no First Sunday in Ordinary Time since it is replaced by either the Epiphany or the Baptism of Our Lord.
While “ordinary” in everyday conversation can mean something uninteresting or dull, it can also mean customary, regular, and orderly. The root of the word comes from the Latin “ordinalis,” which means “showing order, denoting an order of succession.” Hence, Ordinary Time is the standard, orderly, counted time outside of the other liturgical seasons, and it emphasizes discipleship – what it means to be a follower of Jesus in terms of priorities, morality, money and how we will ultimately be judged by God.
It’s appropriate that the Gospel for this Second Sunday in Ordinary Time features St John the Baptist pointing out Jesus as the Lamb of God. The Saviour of the World, the God Man is walking among us, seeking to transform our lives and to save us. This is far from being ordinary!
Fr Paul Gillham