Sunday, January 15, 2017

Is Our Ordinary Extraordinary?

2 Sun OT Yr A/2017
Ss. Peter & Paul/Danville

Do we recognize Jesus when he appears?  And what do we say when we notice Him?

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The trees are down – the crèche is packed away. Joy to the World is once again lost in our hymnals.  Ordinary time has returned.  Hopefully we’ve paid attention to the Wise Men and departed from Christmas by another way – changed, transformed, somehow new and different this year by having truly encountered God Made Flesh at Christmas.  Things are back to ‘normal.’

We’re back to ordinary time – the place where we spend most of our time – where our habits and attitudes and discipleship are formed and lived out.  Ordinary time where we become the Christians we will become…what kind of Christian are we becoming?  

Have we become Christians who are paying attention so we don’t miss the boat?  Have we become Christians who are always getting ready for Jesus to appear on the scene because we know He’s coming?  Have we become Christians who don’t fear because we know Jesus is already here with us – here among us – here in this tabernacle and on this altar, here in one another and the Word of God when we’re gathered together and when we’re sent to make the world a new creation along with Him?  Have we become Christians who are living life – every moment of life – like a Great Adventure?

Or have we settled back into being Christians who come to Church on Sunday and CCD on Wednesday – without any other real lasting impact or change on our lives?  Do we belong to a social and service club called the Catholic Church – or are we Christians on a pilgrimage through this life looking for Jesus to show Himself and ready to respond to Him when He appears?

What is “ordinary” about this time for you?  What is “ordinary” about this time for the Saints Peter & Paul parish family?  Is our “ordinary time” something extraordinary because we are a people of faith following the Good Shepherd into a life like no other lived on a mission to be changed in every aspect of our lives on every level, throwing caution to the wind and moving through our nights and days “all in” to change the world around us?  Or is “ordinary time” for us something that makes us look and live like women and men who have never met Jesus Christ.  Is this “ordinary time” for us because there’s nothing that makes us different from the rest of the world?  Or is this time ordinary because our life – every day, every week, every season – is lived so extraordinarily in light of the Gospel that our radical Christianity today looks and feels exactly like the radical Christianity lived by the apostles?

Is our ‘ordinary’ extraordinary enough to merit the name Christian?

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It’s simple to discover, really.  Are you moving through your nights and days looking for Jesus like John the Baptist?  We’ll never notice Jesus moving in and through our lives unless we’re looking for Him; our ordinary will never be extraordinary unless we live life looking for Jesus.  

Do we know Jesus well enough to recognize Him when He appears?  If we’re not spending time in God’s word, if we’re not praying throughout our days, if Jesus Christ isn’t a person we’re coming to know like we come to know anyone else important in our lives, by giving Him our time and attention… If we’re not getting to know Jesus we’ll never recognize Him when He shows up in our lives; our ordinary will never be extraordinary unless we live life getting to know Jesus well enough that we’ll recognize Him when He appears.

And what do we say when we notice Him?  Are we living a radical enough Christianity that we stop what we’re doing and marvel, like John the Baptist did, when Jesus shows up on the scene?  Behold!  Look!  Right there – LOOK!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!  Do we explain His presence away so it doesn’t demand a response?  ‘Oh – it was just a dove – nothing special here.  Move along.  Keep things ordinary.  Nothing to see here…’  Or do we recognize God’s hand at work in the fabric of our lives and call it out?  Behold the Lamb of God!!  

And if we recognize Him and point Him out to others…what do we do when He calls us to serve Him?  The Lord said to me: You are my servant!  What do you do when Jesus asks you to serve Him?  When He gently knocks at your heart inviting you to the seminary and His holy priesthood?  When he sets your heart afire with the notion of giving your life to him as a religious sister or brother?  What do you do when Jesus asks you to pick up the phone to call someone you haven’t seen at Church for a while, or to get involved in the apostolic work of our parish?  

When you recognize the Lamb of God and hear Him call you farther into this Great Adventure than you’ve ever been before, do you stand up and shout Here am I, Lord – I come to do your will!  - or do you fade into the ordinary life of ordinary people who move through their days and nights without anything at all to set them apart from all the rest?  Is your ordinary extraordinary at all?

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It’s ordinary time again, friends.  The question is, how extraordinary is your ordinary?  Jesus wants your ordinary life to be something extraordinary.  Do it – risk it – try it!  I know you want to!  


Saddle up your horses…this is the Great Adventure!

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