As of Jan. 10, in our faith tradition, “Ordinary Time” as it is known, has returned. We have just taken a significant time to celebrate Advent and Christmas and the New Year, including numerous special occasions throughout. The Lord is truly alive among us. He has been born, and begun his journey into our lives from birth to death and to his kingdom to come. What a great celebration of Jesus’ presence among us.
So, now we return to the “ordinary” time of life until the next series of celebrations relating to Easter in particular. And, the key this time of year is to notice the Lord within the ordinary, the normal, the everyday of life – not always easy for us to do.
In our Liturgical Calendar we have some 33 Ordinary Sundays throughout the year – most of life is more “ordinary” and day-to-day. And yet how extraordinary can the ordinary become when we notice and consciously include the presence of the Lord. Often people are waiting for the Lord to make his appearance, instead of noticing his presence already. And the Lord’s presence brings new life to all moments, even the ordinary and mundane, much less the special occasions.
As we begin a New Year, it is appropriate for us all to take time to notice and pay attention to the presence of the Lord at all times, and not just some of the time. So, how often do you catch yourself waiting for a sign from God rather than noticing his presence right here and now already? God does not hold back but tries to open us up to join with him in the midst of life, whatever time of life it is. So, who do you think doesn’t notice?
Christmas celebrated his coming among us. And now it is time to celebrate his continued presence with us at all times. Jesus helps us learn from the moment and take it to heart, and to let go of those things we need to let go of, that hold us back. He walks with us at all times and seeks to show us the way through this day, in all its ups and downs. He does not put struggles on us but chooses to help us through the struggles that burden us in life’s journey, much less walking with us in the good times as well.
Christmas has come – he is with us! Let us now try to notice his presence and include him in all moments of life. After all, he knows us and knows what we need. And, he knows what holds us back and what he needs to help us notice so that we “let go and let God”. It is not about taking control ourselves but sharing control with God and others and drawing on the strength and grace we have together to get us through.
Let the “Ordinary” touch your heart! One step at a time together with the Lord. One step in the ice and snow and in the mud and the water, and in the normal ups and downs of life with the Lord. Let us learn to “let go and let God” lead us all the time and not just some of the time.
Fr. John E. Krumm is the Pastor of St. Brigid Catholic Church in Xenia and guest columnist.