One of the perks of going to daily Mass is that you encounter liturgical quirks from time to time.
Here in the US, for example, we wrapped up the Christmas season only today – by celebrating the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. But in other parts of the world, Monday marked the beginning of Ordinary Time.
Honestly, it felt a bit odd seeing our sanctuary all lit up in the pre-dawn hours this morning – the bright Christmas trees and poinsettia displays still blazing bravely, long after most of our secular culture has packed its decorations away.
Then, a bit later, when I listened to a favorite prayer podcast produced in Great Britain, my “Christmas clash” only deepened. The scripture reading shared in the podcast didn’t match what I’d heard at Mass, you see. It was the passage designated for Monday of the First Week of Ordinary Time.
But there was nothing “ordinary” about the words I encountered in the podcast. Taken from the Letter to the Hebrews, it touched my heart and stirred my soul…like one final Christmas gift that had gone unnoticed under the tree.
This passage served as a reminder of the deep mystery and profound beauty we possess in Christ…a gift that ought to blaze in our hearts, not just on feast days…but every day of the year:
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.
He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.
When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Hebrews 1: 1-6
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.