Beginning today, the day after the Baptism of the Lord, until Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (January 9 – February 13), we enter into the first part of what is called Ordinary Time. In Advent we pondered the dark, chaotic condition of man before the birth of Jesus. During Christmas we celebrated his birth and the promise of the restoration of our fallen condition. In the next five and one-half weeks, we will be pondering the fuller revelation of Jesus as he leads us interiorly through his spirited word.

Two major Feasts set the tone for this time: the Baptism of the Lord, which we celebrated yesterday, and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple (February 2). The Baptism of the Lord, a prefiguration of sacramental Baptism, gives this time a sacramental character. Jesus, the Source of divine power, instituted the sacramental life of the Church through which he communicates to us the capability for transformation into his likeness. In the Presentation of the Lord, Mary acts in the name of us all, returning to the Father the gift of his Son. The Feast of the Presentation also prepares us for the thrust of the whole Lenten Season that follows. It leads us into our Lenten journey of purification. At the same time it means to keep us in an interior awareness of the presence of Jesus within us individually and corporately as the Mystical Body. We are a “temple people,” and as Mary offered Jesus, we are to offer our lives back to the Father by living in his will.

The themes for the next few weeks center around the call to discipleship. Christ is present, giving us the power to follow this call into transformation and union with God.

From the writings of Fr. Francis J. Marino, S.M.
Founder of the Anawim Community

Excerpt from The Anawim Way, Volume 20, no. 2. More information about The Anawim Way may be found here.