We Americans are obsessed with time. Everything we do is tied to time as if we were ruled by the clock. From the moment of our birth, we are assigned to a schedule; feeding time, naptime, and my personal toddler favorite, tummy time. Scheduling continues throughout our life. In fact, we are convinced that we must be subjected to time if not in outright control of it.
We have many expressions relating to time.
“What time is it?”,
“Don’t waste my time”,
“Time is of the essence”,
“Time is money”.
Many of our popular songs are about time and every generation has its favorite songs about time. Here are a few of mine:
“Time is on my side” by The Rolling Stones
“Time after time” by Cindi Lauper
“Does anybody really know what time it is?” by Chicago
Our Church also schedules certain liturgical seasons in order to focus our attention on the many mysteries of our faith. So, we are most familiar with seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.
This week we entered the liturgical season of Ordinary Time which makes up most of the liturgical year of the Catholic Church, thirty-three or thirty-four weeks in total.
And today is the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Don’t worry though. You didn’t miss a Sunday. There is no 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time, not this year, not any year.
The reason for this is that Ordinary Time begins after the Baptism of Jesus. This causes Ordinary Time to start on a weekday. So, since Ordinary Time began last Tuesday, there was no Sunday during the 1st week of Ordinary Time. Today, then, is the first Sunday during Ordinary Time, which happens to be the first liturgical day of the 2nd week in Ordinary Time. Therefore, today is the 2nd Sunday in ordinary time.
This time is called ordinary, not because it is common or unimportant, but simply because the weeks of Ordinary Time are sequentially numbered. It takes its name from the Latin word ordinalis which refers to numbers in sequence and from which we get the English word “order”.
Vestment colors for this Liturgical Season are green which is the color of new life and hope.
So, the numbered weeks of Ordinary Time represent the ordered life of the Church, the period of time in which we live our lives neither in feasting, as in Christmas and Easter season, nor in penance, as in Advent and Lent, but in watchfulness and expectation of the Second Coming of Christ.
The Gospels of Ordinary Time walk us through the life and ministry of Jesus; the calling of the Apostles, His parables and miracles. In other words, the very mystery of Christ himself is honored in its fullness during Ordinary Time.
If you think of the liturgical calendar as “circle of life” the mystery of Christ unfolds. The significance and beauty of how Christ calls us to live our lives through him comes to light.
The Gospel today recounts the very first time that Jesus is referred to as The Lamb of God. So, Ordinary Time becomes for us the part of the year in which Christ, The Lamb of God, walks among us and transforms our lives. This is not ordinary at all, but it is the very fabric of Christian living.
We don’t often think of this, but time is a gift from God. That we are all here today is testament to the fact that we are still living within that portion of time God has granted us.
The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to keep silent and a time to speak,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, we do not know the time we will be called from this life to face judgement from which we will enter the place of our eternity. Ordinary time gives us the opportunity to examine our lives to this point, to discover for ourselves where we need to improve in order to insure that we are on the right path. It is the time for us to focus our attention on the Mass, the life and times of Jesus in the Gospels, and the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Looking around at this world of ours there is a great deal of evil that exists, so much so, that one comes to the realization that Hell is a much larger place than previously imagined.
It seems as if we, the Church Militant, are in a daily battle for our spiritual survival. It becomes of utmost importance then that we use this period of Ordinary Time to reflect on our lives, straighten our paths and guarantee that we are on the stairway to Heaven and not the highway to Hell.
2nd Sunday Ordinary Time
Jan 15, 2023
Deacon Rick Kaszycki
St Stephen the Martyr