Ordinary Time is Anything But Ordinary
Fr Joseph Falkiner OP, Pietermaritzburg – I have a difficulty regarding the naming of one part of the liturgical year which I would like to share with Southern Cross readers, to discover whether I am alone with this problem. That difficulty is the use of the word “ordinary” as in “Ordinary Time”.
I feel there’s nothing ordinary about this time; it is when we hear about the main message of Jesus, the very reason that caused him to leave Nazareth and begin his mission.
This was the time when Jesus taught the apostles and disciples through his words and actions and formed them for their task of continuing on his mission in the world after he had gone.
It’s Mission Time Really
This is the time that should influence us to become disciples; the time when we learn what it means to be Christian, to love God and to love our neighbour.
To call this time “ordinary” detracts from its importance.
Also, the fact that it is divided into two parts — a small section between Epiphany and Lent, followed by another section after Pentecost — makes one feel that it is merely a time when we fill up the gaps between the really important feasts. To call this time “ordinary” seems to imply that it is not as important as the other liturgical times. But it surely is.
I believe we are all supposed to be apostles and for that we all need formation. The world needs to hear the message of Jesus. We need to convey it to the world.
As disciples, that is our mission too. To make this obvious it would help if Ordinary Time could receive another name: perhaps Formation Time?
Or does anyone have other ideas?