The Christmas season can be a very hectic one for families. Amidst the chaos, we may lose our bearings as we slowly, and perhaps unwillingly, allow the secular celebration of the holiday to replace the true celebration of Our Lord’s birth. I know that sometimes, as I come out of a holy season of the Church, I lament having not entered fully into the true celebration of the season. Of course, it is our nature to resolve to better next year. I would like to suggest that these admirable resolutions are only realized if we properly enter into Ordinary Time. As we enter into the first weeks of Ordinary Time, I think it is important for us to explore the true meaning of this rich period that the Church gives us.
Most of us know that green is the liturgical color of Ordinary Time. It symbolizes the growth and new life that will hopefully take place during this season. I think it is also a call to remind us that we can only grow to properly understand and celebrate Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter if we are able to deepen our prayer life and grow closer to Christ in the “ordinary” times of the year. We cannot reap the harvest of a fruitful crop if we have not carefully planted and tended to the seed.
This is true in a school as well. There are many times throughout the year that we consider “extraordinary.” There is much excitement around the start of the year, for example- vocal and drama performances, class parties, new classmates, basketball games, major events, etc. However, the real work of learning takes place in the ordinary day. Humans enjoy work, whether we always want to admit that or not. We thrive in the midst of ordinary activities when we can put all of our talents and skills into the work we have chosen. It is no accident of nature that we feel fulfilled and happy when a project is completed. Our children are the same way. They thrive in the ordinary. Most of the time they do not even realize they are working. Learning can be a challenge but they approach it with joy. The joy and confidence they express when they have mastered a concept or memorized a poem is what motivates every person who has chosen education as a career. Their accomplishment is our reward.
During this “ordinary” time I hope we all find time to grow and to enjoy the ordinariness of life.
Author: Jay Boren, Headmaster