Reflection: Ordinary Time

This Sunday the Church’s liturgical calendar returns to “Ordinary Time.” Christmas Time and Easter Time highlight the central mysteries of the Paschal Mystery, namely, the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time, on the other hand, take us through the daily life of Christ. This is the time to “order” our lives according to the mind and will of the Lord. It is a time of conversion and a time for growth and maturation in our faith, a time in which the mystery of Christ is to penetrate ever more deeply into our daily lives.

Today’s Gospel gives us a helpful, three-point blueprint of how we can, with God’s grace, accomplish that: wonder, discipleship and mission.

Wonder. When St. John the Baptist saw Jesus walking by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!,” St. Andrew and St. John were obviously intrigued and curious. So they did what curious people ordinarily do: they tried to find out more. They began to follow Jesus, who tells them, “Come and see!” Jesus wants us to learn more about him every day through Scripture and prayer. May we always have a wonder that drives us to deepen our relationship with the Lord.

Discipleship. “Disciple” is the Greek word for “student.” We follow Jesus in order to learn from him. More than acquiring facts, we come to him to learn how to live, how to die and how to live forever. The fact that St. John tells us that “it was about four in the afternoon” reveals how much of an impression that meeting with Jesus had in his life. He and Andrew were changed men. They were no longer curious hangers-on; they were believers and would follow him wherever he led them. May we do the same.

Mission. Because they really believed in him, the disciples were not content to remain merely at the level of discipleship. St. Andrew ran to find his brother Simon and announced to him, “We have found the Messiah!” Then he did something more: he brought his brother Simon to meet Jesus, so that Simon could share the same joy. All St. Andrew did was announce the good news to his brother and bring his brother to Jesus, and Jesus did the rest. Little do we know what will happen when we announce Jesus to others and try to bring them to him.

We ask God to help us to make wonder, discipleship and mission part of our “ordinary” routine.

In Christ –

Monsignor Tom Powers
Parochial Administrator of St. Ann Parish