According to the Church calendar, this is the first week in Ordinary Time. The weeks are referred to by ordinal numbers, which is why they are called ordinary. There are 34 of them. In the usual sense of the word ordinary, these weeks are not special seasons like Advent or Easter. But is any week actually “ordinary”? Considering that out of the zillion or so planets and other things floating in the limitless universe, our little planet daily sustains our lives, I’d say that any week is extraordinary. The fact we human beings can think, create, imagine, choose, and love, unlike other creatures such as the billions of insect species, I’d call that extraordinary. Every morning that we wake up to a new day and find our earth still here and not destroyed by wayward asteroids, the supervolcano sleeping under Yellowstone National Park, or a nuclear disaster is extraordinary.
On a personal level, we are alive and breathing because in God’s design a particular man and woman met and their union culminated in our birth and our genes donated from each partner make us who we are each day. That’s extraordinary. We dwell in bodies in which blinking keeps eyes lubricated, stomachs digest food, and hearts send oxygen to cells, and so many other marvelous things go on without us even being aware of them. That’s extraordinary. Each day (whether it has a special title or not) affords us twenty-four hours in which anything could happen and in which we could do anything. How extraordinary is that? Unless we are hermits, every day we encounter and interact with beings like ourselves. They enlighten us, help us, encourage us, love us, and challenge us. If that’s not special, what is?
On the spiritual plane, too, every day of ordinary time is extraordinary. God is an abiding presence around us and within us. Far from being an absentee landlord, he loves us like a father or mother and gives us grace to help us make our way to heaven. Moreover, Jesus lives in our churches and daily sacrifices himself on our altars. We can even consume God. That is so stupendous that writer Annie Dilliard said we should wear crash helmets to church.
Every day is extraordinary—even those drab winter days with gray clouds and dirty snow. Every day is reason to celebrate . . . and be grateful.
What makes your ordinary days extraordinary?