PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: There’s nothing ‘ordinary’ about this time of year

By FATHER JIM

During the mid winter doldrums, it would be easy to consider this time between the conclusion of holy holidays and the arrival of the new year and the coming Lent, to be oh so ordinary, a bit boring and subdued.

But, of course, it isn’t at all, even though the Catholic calendar calls these weeks “ordinary.”

This time of the year, especially for people of faith, can hold a special richness of its own. As this edition of our parish publication “More Good News” celebrates a spirit of volunteerism and those who offer time, talent, treasure and so much energy to the faith, so this “ordinary” season of the church can be just as full and rich and uplifting as those big days of Christmas, Easter and other holy days that are so very special that we cherish them.

Actually, during mid-winter there are many opportunities to volunteer and get involved not only in parish life, but also in the wider community in which we live.

Maybe the places left by some of our snow birds during these months are an invitation to others to get involved. Really, every hour of the day and every season of the year have something special to give us, but oftentimes we cannot make ourselves present to meet the gift.

Many spiritual people and those who take time to reflect on the deeper things in life tell us that it is important to be attentive to the present moment — it has been called “the angel of the hour.” Whether someone might be considering some volunteer participation in the parish or the community — school, sports, worthy causes, whatever it might be this time — these ordinary weeks of January, February into March can be just as much a blessing as Advent and Christmas or Lent and Easter.

Not too long ago, Pope Francis, speaking to millions of young people gathered for a Catholic youth event, said they should not turn into couch potatoes … well, that is a good phrase for anybody of any age. So many have so much to offer that can lift up our wonderful faith and the places where we live and work.

The words ordinary and routine can sound somewhat boring, but not when we meet the “angels of the hour.”