Ordinary Time

I know I haven’t finished my series on the Bible but I thought I’d take a short break for another poem.

This one was written a few years ago when I was involved for a while with a small group of Catholics. I was struck one Sunday when I noticed that the missal (their service book) described that particular Sunday as “the seventh in ordinary time”. Ordinary in this sense actually means counted (as in ordinal numbers), and refers to those Sundays that are not part of a major season like Advent or Easter. However the other, normal,  sense was what hit me, hence this poem.

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Jesus by the lake, Chichester Cathedral

Jesus by the lake, Chichester Cathedral

The missal said that this Sunday

Was lost somewhere in the middle

Of Ordinary Time.

Ordinary Time–

The long period between Pentecost and Advent

When nothing happens.

How easy to see Him,

The babe of Advent,

With angels to call us,

Stars to lead us,

Wise men to accompany us.

Harder to watch,

But more dramatic, riveting,

The man on the cross.

Joining the procession

As they shout “Hosanna!”

–Or was it “Crucify”?

The blood, the tomb, the great surprise.

High drama.

But this is Ordinary Time.

No cute, adorable baby,

No suffering, cosmic hero,

Just the ordinary

Made extraordinary

When the veil lifts

And we meet Him as friend.

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