The name of the liturgical season comes from the Latin ordino or ordinare – to set in order, regulate, arrange, appoint, or govern. Ordinary Time marks the passing of a measured fragment in the life of the church, the people of God.  It is not ordinary as in the English definition of the word, meaning plain or simple or unadorned.  Examine any passage of time in your life or in the life of the world and you will find it filled with the extraordinary and the divine.  If you look, you will see the presence of God in the people, the places, and events of everyday life. Every day is sacred. Every moment is a miracle.  There is darkness, but there is also joy and love. Ordinary Time is extravagant, complex, and decorative. We mark its passing because it is so special.  We measure it because it is to be savored – all of it savored – the good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow, the holy and the not so holy. Ordinary Time says, “Take note, for this moment is full of grace and will never come again.”  Ordinary Time says, “You are God’s beloved child and you are extraordinary.”   Ordinary Time says, “I will be with you always even unto the end of the world, but I make no guarantees the going will always be easy.”

The liturgical color of Ordinary Time is green.  Green is also a metaphor for being new and inexperienced.  Just about right for beginning a new job.  

Chapter 1 – The First Day


“Are you a virgin?”

“What?! Is your brain a virgin? He just said he got a wife and kids.”

“Maybe his wife don’t like to do it and the kids are adopted.”

Theo, Yahira, and Raul. I answered before this started to run away from me.

“No, I’m not a virgin. As Yahira pointed out, I have a wife and kids. My children’s names are Rafael and Gabriella. They are three and five, respectively, and they are not adopted.  My wife’s name is Marie and I think she likes doing it, but that’s more sharing than is required or even acceptable from a teacher to students, so let’s stop there, okay?”  I picked up the pictures of Marie, Gabby and Rafe, from my desk and sent them around the class. “Here are their pictures”

“Mista, your wife is pretty!”

“And your kids are cute.”

“Does your wife color her hair?”

“Can I baby-sit for you?”

“Thanks, I think so too.”  I was answering the first question as more were thrown at me. It felt like being pelted with jelly beans. I couldn’t even keep up with who was speaking or which face went with which name and which face and name with each question.  

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