Monday, January 10, 2011

Hello, Ordinary!

Readings for Monday, January 10:
Hebrews 1:1-6
Psalm 97:1-2,6,7,9
Mark 1:14-20

If you went to Mass today, you likely noticed that we broke out the green vestments again. That's right - Ordinary Time is back! It's interesting that I am beginning to appreciate ordinary time more and more as the years pass. I think it's because I understand it more deeply each year.

I don't know about you who read this, but when I think back on my life I tend to think of the many high points of things that happened rather than on the day-to-day aspect. This emphasis on the big things can lead me to forget the value of the daily work. The same applies to our theology. Certainly we value the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, but at the same time we ought to seek out the value of this 'Ordinary Time' that we celebrate for 34 out of the 52 weeks each year. I never really understood this until it was pointed out to me the value of reflecting on the hidden life of Christ. In the gospels we get the infancy narratives and then almost immediately skip to the ministry and Passion of Christ - a thirty year gap between those two aspects of His life. In that time, Christ went about doing the work of the God, growing in knowledge and love of the Father, and preparing for all that was in store for Him in the future. The same applies for us, too, who have this 'mundane' time of the year to quietly, humbly seek after the Lord and to grow in holiness as we journey through the 'everydayness' of this life. Blessed Theresa of Calcutta once said that what counts is not so much the greatness of the things we do but the greatness of the love with which we do them. St. Therese of Lisieux spoke similarly about doing little things with great love. May we follow in the footsteps of these great saints and Our Lord in humbling growing in knowledge and love of our Father as we sow seeds of love through these days and pray that the rewards may be great in the seasons to come.

On a different note, yesterday began Vocations Awareness Week. As we go throughout this week, please pray for an increase in vocations to priesthood, religious life, and the diaconate. Many have been called and need the grace of your prayers to hear and respond to that call.