Ordinary time

Ordinary Time.

Lent and Easter well behind us, the Church is in Ordinary Time.

Looking up the definition of the word ‘ordinary’ in the Oxford Dictionary its says “not interesting or exceptional; what is commonplace or standard.”

Nothing really to write home about.

The liturgical colour chosen for “ordinary time” is green and maybe here the ‘ordinary’ becomes ‘extraordinary’.

What is standard becomes anything but standard.

The 12thC Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen wrote, “There is a power that has been since all eternity, and that force and potentiality is green!”

Hildegard names this greening force viriditas, the Latin for her original “das Grün,” the greening.

With viriditas Hildegard captures the greening power, the living light, that breathes in all beings, flows through all that is alive.

“Be it greenness or seed, blossom or beauty – it could not be creation without it,” she writes.

Hildegard spoke often of viriditas, the greening of things from within, analogous to what we now call photosynthesis.

There is a readiness in plants to receive the sun and to transform its light and warmth into energy and life.

Maybe “Ordinary Time” is about, a readiness to receive the sun/Son and to be transformed into energy and life.

Maybe, we dare rename our Ordinary Time as Greening Time.

  • Gerard Whiteford is Marist priest; retreat facilitator and spiritual companion for 35 years. He writes regularly at www.restawhile.nz


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