If you've ever traveled overseas, say to western Europe, you know well the meaning of "jet lag." Within a matter of hours, we are transported across nine time zones and land early in the morning in another country and culture. While it may be 8 a.m. where you settle, your body says its eleven pm. where you came from and you should be in bed. Despite the wonders of modern transportation, something Lewis and Clark could only imagine in their wildest dreams, it takes a little more time for you to acclimate. For me, it is always going west, into daylight all the way, and landing at home that causes a few days for head and body to catch up with each other.
The point is that time is essentially our invention. The earth and planets revolve around the sun and light and darkness has for billions of years passed across this planet which we say mark day and night. This, we might say, is the ordinary pattern of daily living. There is nothing we can do to speed up or slow down that process - "time moves on" as we say.
The same is true with our liturgical calendar. Post Easter season and the Feast of Pentecost, we return to that time called Ordinary. The green color becomes predominant in the vestments of the priest and we settle in to a more routine. No Easter candle standing prominently in the sanctuary, flowers may be more subdued, far too early for the Christmas crib or the purple of next year's Lent. This is a time familiar to us in its more "ordinary" pattern.
Yet, we may use that word to imply a kind of same old/same old. Or even a lesser sense of boredom. However, when we understand that the purpose of this season is to walk the Christian life through reflecting on the life of Jesus: his teachings, parables, interactions, miracle stories during the years of his public ministry. What does it mean for us, in our daily walk with the Lord, to know him and to live our our Christian call through baptism, to be his missionary disciples? The Word of God is rich with inspiration and provides us the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit.
The color green symbolizes not only life but life in Christ Jesus. All living and inanimate things, created by a loving God, exist in praise of him. How can we live in praise of the Father? By coming to know his Son sent to us,
In that light, we may continue to ask the question: What part of me still needs to hear the good news preached? What part of me do I still resist conversion? How can I be more effective in my daily Christian life? As I move into summer, how's my prayer life? We can ask ourselves many important questions and find ourselves during the Ordinary Time becoming more extraordinary in our Christian/Catholic life.
So, while green predominates now until the end of November, we will also see during the week red for martyrs, white for pastors, virgins, and the Blessed Mother. All our family of Saints in heaven who cheer us on, who have run the race we are running, and who stand as our intercessors and inspiration.
May this Ordinary Time of the liturgical year be rich and meaningful for all of us. May we look to the Holy Spirit's inspiration and guide to show us the way with Christ and open our hearts to God's abundant grace and mercy.