Finding Grace in Ordinary Time

On Sunday we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord, and the end of the Christmas season. We’re back in Ordinary Time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be full of extraordinary graces!

Father James Kubicki, a regular Relevant Radio® contributor, stopped by The Inner Life® this week to discuss Ordinary Time, and how we can find grace during this liturgical season.

On why it’s called Ordinary Time, Fr. Kubicki explained, “I’ll be honest, I think it’s a bad translation. It comes from the Latin word ‘ordo’ which means numbered or numbers. So basically what it’s saying is that this is numbered time.”

He explained that until 50-60 years ago the time between the Christmas and Lenten season was marked as the Sundays after Epiphany or the Sundays before Lent. The time after the Easter season was marked as the Sundays and weeks after Pentecost.

“Well, when the calendar was changed and transformed, those were dropped, and instead we were given what was called numbered time, or ordered time,” Fr. Kubicki said. “Unfortunately the translation comes out as Ordinary Time. As though Christmas, Easter, Advent, and Lent are extraordinary time and this is just plain, old ordinary. Same old, same old time. That’s not the intent at all.”

Ordinary Time might seem like just filler between the more exciting liturgical seasons, but if we approach it that way we are missing out on something very important.

“We shouldn’t look at any of our days or any of our time as plain, old ordinary,” Fr. Kubicki said. “Every day that God gives us is precious, so we shouldn’t think of it as just an ordinary day.”

If you’re looking to stay connected with the Lord during this Ordinary Time, Father Kubicki offered a suggestion. He said, “One thing I really recommend, and this is something I became very engaged in when I was director of the Apostleship of Prayer, is to see every day as ‘kairos'”.

Fr. Kubicki explained that the Greeks had two words for time. One was chronos, which is the root of the word chronological. “That’s just basically day in and day out,” he said. “Kairos is a sense of a privileged moment, a graced moment, of God breaking into our lives, being present to us.”

Ordinary Time doesn’t have to be a time when we go along and don’t expect much. Every day is a gift from God, and an opportunity to grow in grace. Are you making the most of it?

“God is present in our daily lives, whether it’s Lent, Advent, Easter, Christmas, or whether it’s Ordinary Time,” Fr. Kubicki pointed out.

One way to help you approach every day as a gift is by beginning and ending it with prayer. “I recommend beginning the day with a Daily Offering prayer,” Father Kubicki suggested. “Receiving the day as a gift from God, saying thank you Lord that I have this day to live an to love you by serving you. Offer that day to God, and then at the end of the day pray the Ignatian Examen. And it’s more than an Examination of Conscience, it’s really looking back on the day and seeing where God was present in my day blessing me, challenging me, and how did I respond to God’s challenges?”

“If we do that, if we bookend our day with the beginning prayer, offering it to God, and then look back at the day we offered to God we will be much more conscious during the day of kairos, that each day is a gift from God and God is present in that moment of time.”

Listen to the full conversation below:

The Inner Life airs weekdays at 11:00 a.m. Central on Relevant Radio and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.