Unwrap the Ordinary
by Susan Rowland
"Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary.
There are burning bushes all around you.
Every tree is full of angels.
Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb.
Life wants to lead you from crumbs to angels,
but this can happen only if you are willing to unwrap the ordinary
by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure."
— A Tree Full of Angels, Macrina Wiedeker
The 50 days of Easter has just finished and Ordinary Time begins. This is the juncture of the Liturgical year that stiches together the two more familiar cycles of the church. The Christmas cycle (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany) and the Easter cycle (Lent, Holy week, Easter, Pentecost). This year Ordinary Time began on June 6 and ends on November 26.
It is somewhat ironic to observe the arrival of Ordinary Time when the world is experiencing such extraordinary events with significant future impact. It can be overwhelming to discern where our energy should focus. Many I know had hoped that 2022 would bring relief from the two years plus of Covid. The dream was 2022 would just be ordinary or normal, whatever that might be.
This liturgical season is ordinary in name only, referring to how the weeks are numbered. But, it is not a time of bland rhythms or lack of inertia. It’s not a spiritual summer break, unless that is your calling. It is active, living hearts attuned to bold callings for change.
Ordinary Time offers an invitation to reflection and action. It is a living out of all we have gathered through the celebrations of the other two cycles. The color of the season is green symbolizing a maturing and ripening within our Spirit as we reflect during these next weeks.
I like to begin with a slow, repeated reading of Acts 2. Here we see the disciples begin to live what they have been taught through parables, the Sermon on the Mount, the bread of life story and so much more. They were surprised by the power that was available, they were just ordinary people now doing extraordinary things. There was no apathy with Jesus’ departure rather an incredible transfer of power to the disciples.
Here are a few other suggestions that might help bring meaning to this season for you:
* Reading the gospels, watching the Master of the Ordinary transform lives with simple encounters.
* Evaluate your practices that may have been rich in Lent, that now feel stale.
* Engage in a daily examen of gratitude that focuses on the simple parts of your life.
As this season unfolds may you “unwrap the ordinary by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure."