Immediately after the feast of the Pentecost, the Church resumes to what is now called the season of “Ordinary Time.”
But what does this season really mean?
In Latin, Ordinary time is called “Tempus Per Annum,” which is more literally translated as “time during the year.”
The English translators however, chose to present it as “Ordinary Time,” which has at its root from the Latin word “ordo,” or in English “order.”
In one means, this season derives its name from the ordinal numbers by which the Sundays are known (Second, Third, Fourth, etc. Sunday in Ordinary Time).
Though, in a more deeper sense Ordinary Time can be seen as a “time of order” in the year of the Church.
So, What “order” does it have?
According to USCCB, it explains that, “Christmas Time and Easter Time highlight the central mysteries of the Paschal Mystery, which are, the incarnation, death on the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and then, the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Meanwhile, the Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time, take us through the life of Christ. This becomes the time of conversion. This is living the life of Christ.
Ordinary Time in the other hand, is a period for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to enter ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ.
And the goal, toward which all of history is directed, is represented by the final Sunday in Ordinary Time, which is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Ordinary Time however, is a specific season in the Church which focuses on the life of Christ during his three years of public ministry. This is the reason why the start of Ordinary Time begins with the Baptism of the Lord, as that is the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus.
And then, the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time follows suit, focusing on the Wedding Feast at Cana, which also known as Jesus’ first public miracle.
The color for this particular liturgical season is green, which is mostly associated with growth.
Ordinary Time is also viewed as a time of growth in our knowledge and love of Jesus. It is a time that is “ordered” to spiritual growth, therefore walking in the footsteps of Jesus’s public life.
So, as the name of the season may appear to be an afterthought, but it is not without meaning.