God of Ordinary Time
For some, it was a bit of sadness, for others, a relief. There always seems to be a bit of mixed feelings each year when the Christmas decorations come down. This was less a problem when the Christmas season was extended all the way to February 2. Still, when the decorations are actually put away, most of us come to admit that routine is good for the soul. When the song of the angels is stilled and the star in the sky is gone, when the Magi have gone home and the shepherds are back with their sheep, it is then that Christmas begins. (Howard Thurman, adapted)
At this time, it seems like one of our tasks is to carry out at least one of the graces we received at Christmas. One of the stories I am left with this year is that of Simeon and Anna waiting in the temple. There must have been moments when they asked themselves why they were there and what they were wanting for. Would they really recognize the unique coming of God? Still, we have the sense that when it did happen, and Simeon held the Child in his arms, they both saw more than the Child. They seemed to see what would be and what could be. Very likely, both of them saw the deeper meaning of their own lives, together with a new aspect of God they had never known before.
For ourselves, if we take a moment to reflect, we may find that this sort of thing happens to all of us, once in awhile. In general, we are waiting for a certain something in our lives. Like Anna and Simeon, we may not even know exactly what it is. Sometimes though, we do get a glimpse. There is something within us that tells us that this glimpse is enough.
What was it like when Simeon and Anna went back to Ordinary Time? My guess is that they went about their daily task with a renewed peace and serenity, noticeable to others.
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D