Ordinary Time Doesn’t Have to Be “Ordinary”
After the Christmas season we enter Ordinary Time in the Church’s liturgical year. Let me suggest that “Ordinary Time” need not be ordinary at all! I would propose we rename it as “Blessings Time.” A time to reflect on both the blessings that we give and the blessings that we receive.
The awareness of blessings is closely related to our sense of gratitude. Benedictine Brother David Steindl-Rast expresses this beautifully, “Grateful living is the awareness that we stand on holy ground-always-in touch with Mystery.” How can we not be grateful when we are open to the presence of God? Sounds simple, right? Not so when we live preoccupied with worry and anxiety, whether it be personal or societal.
Very often, our Creator and Redeemer God calls us out of this darkness and the night into the joy of light and the day through the people in our lives who are blessings to us. Whether they be strangers, friends or family members, they see us as sisters and brothers in need. They don't simply "see" us, they choose to companion us on our journey. Instead of seeing us as "other," they believe we are beloved children of God.
They see us with grateful eyes. Steindl-Rast explains, “Grateful eyes look at whatever it be as if they had never seen it before and caress it as if they would never see it again.” Grateful eyes naturally become blessing eyes.
Just as we receive blessings through others, we, too, can become those who bless. Committed to developing grateful eyes, we will be able to approach all people and all of life with deep reverence and love.
In this way, we can transform everyday Ordinary Time into Blessings Time. May we be one in God who blesses so unreservedly! May gratitude fill our heart today and every day!