This week is the first week of “Ordinary Time.” The first week after the season of Christmas is always the beginning of ordinary time in the liturgical calendar – but what do we mean by “ordinary?” Let’s start with what is NOT meant by ordinary: by ordinary we do not mean “of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional:”
The Church does not consider “Ordinary Time” to be ordinary as in common, because it isn’t – because it is the end times, the times in which God’s promises have been fulfilled and we live in the active coming of His Kingdom in the Person of Jesus Christ and the Church He builds as His very Body. Our times are hardly ordinary – God has walked the Earth as a mortal man, we have known Him and He us, and what is more He conquered death which was the most ordinary fact of all human existence. Nothing was more in common for Mankind than our destiny of extinction, generally attended by pain, sorrow, and fear. Nothing is less ordinary than to be part of God and conquer death with Him.
So what does it mean? It means simply to be ordered or numbered. This is week number 1 after Christmas, and next Sunday will commence week number 2. The Church marks this time with an ordinal system, and so has called it “Ordinary.” Don’t be deceived, Ordinary time is anything but ordinary.