January 14, 2012
A time to grow and mature in our faith, Ordinary Time is a season of quiet reflection on the life of our Lord. During the next several weeks, we Catholics focus on our own intimacy with Jesus to better live out His Gospel message.
Celebrated in two parts, Ordinary Time is the longest season of the liturgical calendar lasting a total of 33 or 34 weeks. Beginning after the Baptism of our Lord and ending Ash Wednesday, the first part of this season is the shorter of the two. The second part of this season stretches from Pentecost Sunday to the beginning of Advent.
The name Ordinary stems from the word "ordinal" which means "numbered" because we count the Sunday of this season consecutively: first, second, third, etc. The liturgical color of this season is green symbolizing the growth our faith will experience. While no specific practice of penance or fasting is observed, Catholics are encouraged to find individual ways to help themselves grow closer to Christ.