The de-decorating has commenced! After two weeks of joyful celebration, Christmastide ended yesterday with the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. Today we welcome with open arms Ordinary Time. The tree comes down, bows are unraveled, and wreaths go out onto the forest floor. We’re glad to be able to pack up boxes and store them for the year to come. We experienced an incomprehensibly jubilant mystery and we rejoiced full swing: candy, food, Christmas music, decorations, and prayers of gratitude. But like the Magi, we move forward.
It is precisely the depth of the mystery that calls us to move on into the ordinary. Why? Because now we get to live in the mystery, to live out the mystery that was revealed to us at Christmas. We now digest it; we grow up with Jesus, experience him and get to know him. The shepherds go back to their sheep, the Magi “return to their country by another route” (Mt 2:12), and Mary and Joseph continue their ordinary lives, now taking care of Jesus. We continue with them, but we are not the same, for Christ is born in us. We begin Ordinary Time eager to continue on with Jesus, hearing his words, witnessing and experiencing his saving work. This time is about following Jesus the Son of Mary, born of flesh in the very ordinary, so that we can meet Jesus Son of God in that very ordinary.