First Monday in Ordinary Time. One of two Mondays in Ordinary Time with no ordinary Sunday to precede it. Trivia question: when it the other?
I’ve said it a couple of times, but it bears repeating.”Ordinary” in this context does not mean routine, let alone dull or uninteresting. It means that the weeks are ordered, or numbered. With ordinal numbers, get it?
But there’s nothing ordinary (in the sense of dull or unimportant) about the breathtaking poetry in the book of Sirach this week (Office of Readings). Nor the reading from Pope St. Clement I, which is a lovely, long petitionary prayer which certainly covers every base. Nor does todays daytime reading (midafternoon) from 1 Peter ever fail to inspire awe:realize that you were delivered not by any diminishable sum of silver or gold, but by Christ’s blood beyond all price! And so it goes. The liturgy fills us with a thousand gifts, all year long. Never “ordinary”.
At the same time, I feel a good kind of ordinary (in the “ordinary” sense of the word) whenever I put away the Christmas paraphernalia, put the furniture back where it belongs, and get back down to the business. The relative quiet and the relatively slender to-do list clears my mind. And leaving behind for a while the page flipping and calendar checking of Christmastide does much to fuel the notion that ordinary time in the liturgy, is a little less cluttered, and breathes upon us a goodly simplicity. A needed break until Lent.