Seasonal Reflection: Ordinary Time, Winter 2017
The Christmas season has ended and Lent is weeks away, and so we return to Ordinary Time for a little while. Somehow this Ordinary Time doesn’t seem so ordinary, however. Only a week into it, we are witnesses to one of the most extraordinary presidential inaugurations in American history. We don’t know for sure what other extraordinary events are to come. We can only pray (and act) to insure that they will be for the best of humanity here at home and across the globe and for all of creation.
One great idea of the biblical revelation is that God is manifest in the ordinary, in the actual, in the daily, in the now, in the concrete incarnations of life. Our experiences of ordinary life will transform us if we are willing to experience them fully. This is quite different from much of religion’s emphasis on being pure, perfect, or correct to find God….
We see this “ordinariness” reflected in the seemingly laborious and boring books of Joshua, Judges, Kings, Chronicles, Leviticus, and Numbers. We hear in these books about sin and war, adultery and affairs, kings and killings, intrigues and deceit, and the ordinary, wonderful, and sad events of human life. Those books, documenting the life of real communities, of concrete ordinary people, are barely “religious” at all…..
God’s revelations are through the concrete and specific…. Revelation is not something you measure, but something—or Someone—you meet! This pattern of incarnation reaches its fullness in one small place on the planet, in one short period of history, in one very ordinary man named Jesus….
The biblical revelation is saying that we are…spiritual beings…. The Bible tries to let us in on the secret, by revealing God in ordinary human affairs and conflicts. That’s why so much of the text seems so mundane, practical, specific, and frankly unspiritual!
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2008), 16-17.
As we pray and act during this time, let us be sure to find God in the ordinary.
When we consider your world, O God,
We always seem to be aware of the bizarre,
The out-of-kilter, the extraordinary.
Only occasionally do we marvel at day following night,
At the repeating cycles of birth, growth, decay and death,
At the consistency of the phases of the moon,
Give us the grace to wonder at the ordinary.
Pax Christi Metro New York © 2017