The Christmas Season draws to a close after the Baptism of Jesus, which we celebrate this Sunday. The Christmas celebrations are over. Ordinary time begins. Does that mean there’s nothing to do till Lent and the Easter season?
Sure there is. Ordinary Time is a time for daily prayer, and daily prayer is never over. The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy said that daily prayer is at the heart of the Christian life and created a daily lectionary of scripture readings so “ the treasures of the bible be opened more lavishly for the faithful at the table of God’s word.” (SC 51)
The daily lectionary is a treasure for praying with the scriptures, but don’t take it for granted. Treasures, Jesus said, are usually hidden and you have to dig for them. That’s what we do in daily prayer. The liturgy is always a “work”, our daily work, an important work, a daily prayer. It’s the “summit” of the Christian life. We’re always at the beginning, not at the end.
We begin Monday to read the Letter to the Hebrews and the Gospel of Mark from our lectionary. There are feasts of the Lord and his saints to celebrate in the days ahead. It’s a lifelong learning we’re into, a school God provides, and we learn day by day.
I’ve always disliked the term “ordinary time” as applied to the liturgical year. It’s Epiphanytide. Let’s keep it that way, just as the long summer/fall season is Trinitytide.
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