Ordinary Time & Ordinary People

(posted: June 1 2018)


The Easter Season concluded at Pentecost and we are now in what the Church designates as Ordinary Time.

Ordinary Time can be a confusing term for most of us. We know that when something is described as ‘ordinary’ there is nothing special about it; it is normal. When compared to the two big seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter, Ordinary Time is normal time. That’s not a bad definition for the adjective ‘ordinary’. Let’s say we are in Normal Time, even though the meaning actually refers to numbered time, ordinal time.

(I will stick with the adjective and not go into the noun ‘ordinary’: An Ordinary is a person (like a bishop) who exercises authority by virtue of the office held, but let’s not go there.)

Ordinary Time (a.k.a. Normal Time) feels good after all of the festivities are completed. The conclusion of the Easter Season brings a kind of relaxation. Lent was long and the celebrations of Easter, Ascension and Pentecost have concluded. With the extra flowers and candles and banners removed, we move to the simple, to the normal. Purple, white, gold, and red give way to basic green and life returns to normal.

Don’t get me wrong! I love the celebrations of Lent and Easter and I try to participate as fully as possible in everything, but there is something relaxing and quietly prayerful about the return to the ordinary, normal time. Perhaps it’s because I am an ordinary person. I live an ordinary life, in an ordinary Canadian small town. I’ve been married for almost 53 comfortable years and my husband is an ordinary guy. I have an ordinary collection of family members and good friends. My faith life is ordinary too. I celebrate Eucharist with other ordinary parishioners who pray the same ordinary petitions and prayers of thanksgiving as I do. It’s comfortable and ordinary and I am thankful for these times of normalcy, of ordinary living.

For me, this ordinary time cannot become a time of complacency, or stagnancy. My Vincentian vocation calls me to be an ordinary person who reaches out to other ordinary people who are as broken and in need of God’s love as I am. Perhaps some of those I serve are needy in ways that I am blessed; they might need SSVP’s help financially while I am ok. But I need their friendship as much as they need mine. It is in such ordinary encounters with our neighbours that we encounter Christ.

Blessed Frederic’s personal motto, ‘Every day, to do a little good’ sounds quite ordinary for such an extraordinary man.

God, with your help the ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary. Be with us as we serve you in your poor. Amen


Spirituality Corner

Monthly Reflections
by Denise Bondy, Chair
ONRC Spirituality Committee