During these extraordinary times, it might seem a bit confusing when we are reminded that we are living in Ordinary Time according to the church year. And while ordinary may sound like nothing special is going on, we are actually blessed during this time with the opportunity to get to know Jesus better by being treated to little snippets of his life and teachings in each Sunday Gospel. The big feasts — Christmas, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost — present us with the great mysteries of our faith. Ordinary time allows us a peek at the greatest mystery in the flesh, Jesus, so that we can come to know him better. That way we can do what the song from Godspell paraphrasing St. Ignatius of Loyola urges us to do: See Him more clearly, love Him more dearly and follow Him more nearly.
Each Sunday Gospel presents a window into the Jesus we are called to know, love and imitate. We see the divine nature that allows him to walk on water, feed thousands with a few pieces of bread and dried fish, and raise the son of a widow from the dead. We also see a very human Jesus whose compassion prompted the above actions, as well as one who could get a bit testy with his disciples, like when he ordered Peter to “get behind me Satan.” There is the story of Jesus who somewhat curtly responded to the Canaanite woman about whether she deserved to have her daughter healed, and who softened and did as she asked when she reminded him that he came to save us all: Do not the dogs eat the crumbs from the master’s table? We see a Jesus who wept over wayward Jerusalem and who contributed an abundance of wine at the wedding of a friend at his Mother’s urging.
Getting to know the Jesus of the Gospels allows us to be ordinary, to do ordinary things, to allow ourselves to live an ordinary life as he did, even in these extraordinary times. He also challenges us to see the transfiguration of the ordinary into the extraordinary by glimpsing the hand of God at work around and, more importantly, within us. Take advantage of ordinary time!
– Blog entry by Sister Joyce Lehman