Yesterday was our last day of Ordinary Time. Today, the first Sunday of Advent, brings the start of a new season and another year in the life of the Church. At this transition in the liturgical year, I am really thankful for the ordinary days. I am always ready for the penitential seasons (Advent & Lent) and celebratory seasons (Christmas & Easter); they refresh and restore us. They set us back on course when we have lost our way. But it is often in the Ordinary Time that we cultivate and reap the fruit of the seeds planted during those other seasons. In fact, it is the ordinary times of life that reveal the state of our faith.
The rhythms of our day-to-day are the practice fields for us would-be saints. If we are going to be saints, then we are going to be saints in our every day. There are many days that I don’t like what I see in myself. I catch myself in a rush, too busy for charity and lacking in patience. Sometimes I make poor use of my ordinary days. What does our use of our ordinary time reveal about who we are?
For me, it reveals my particular need for a savior; but it also offers a daily path toward salvation, toward Christ. Jesus says, “Take up your cross, and follow me.” We don’t follow Him only on Sunday; we don’t follow Him only at certain times during the year. The call to follow Christ is the call to follow Him in our daily, ordinary living.
Having just finished this season of Ordinary Time, I know quite well the ways that I need Christ to come in my life this Advent. I see the pits I keep falling into and the problematic patterns through which I keep cycling. My ordinary time has shown me how I, like the people of Israel throughout the centuries of salvation history, keep forgetting how I am to live. I always need to be reminded of this. In his homily this morning, our priest said, “We never get bored of the story of salvation history.”
Perhaps this is the perfect time to thank God for all of your “Ordinary Time” this year and what he has taught you through it. Ask the Holy Spirit what you have forgotten in your daily living and to reveal the story of salvation history afresh to you this Advent.