Dorothy Day said, “The words ‘Ordinary Time’ in our prayer books put me in a state of confusion and irritation. To me, no time is “ordinary.”
She was right. The Ordinary in “Ordinary Time” refers to ordinal—counted—time, not to a lack of something to celebrate or vacation time from Mass. We gather every Sunday. Sunday is our original feast day. Christians have gathered every Sunday—the day of Christ’s resurrection, the first day of the week— ever since there were Christians.
What is the heart of our Sunday celebration? We do our Eucharist; that is, we do our thanksgiving. We praise and thank God for all creation; we pray for the whole world, as we remember Christ’s life, death and resurrection. We share the bread and wine, the body and blood. We are sent forth to be the body and blood of Christ in our homes, our workplaces, our neighborhoods, our towns, our cities, our country, our world. What happens in our churches every Sunday is the fruit of our week. What happens as the fruit of the week past is the beginning of the week to come. Sunday is simultaneously a point of arrival and departure for Christians on their way to the fullness of the kingdom. This is not ordinary at all. This is the fabric of Christian living and therefore summer is not a time-out!