Our title for today tells us we are back in ordinary time. After forty days of lent, celebrating Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost, we are back to ordinary! How can we, as Easter people, be ordinary? While the term in our liturgical year merely refers to the numbered Sundays, it always makes me stop and think about how we who are so blessed are anything but Ordinary! Our readings all give us reason to rejoice and be grateful. This date is a special one for me – my parents were married 70 years ago today. I am again blessed to have this date assigned that allows me reflection. Unfortunately, with my father’s premature death at 50, my parents only celebrated 27 years together. In my youth, that seemed a long time – now it seems so very short. Therefore, I write this knowing this date was not a coincidence (it never is!) and trying to find the meaning for today.
Our first reading clearly reminds us of the sacrifice made for our salvation. We were “ransomed” with the Christ’s blood – something more precious than any material offering. This was what was given to “get us back.” The term ransomed said much to me – we were lost to someone who thought us so important, He was willing to give everything to get us back. The cost to us is only obedience to truth. We are reminded again about loving one another intensely. We are not asked to die on the cross as was done for us, just to love each other. One would think we could do this without so much difficulty. Yet, I know that is, at times, a daily struggle. Oh, some people are certainly easy to love, especially from a distance. However, what about those who are so intensely in our lives day after day? Such a seemingly simple directive can become overwhelming to fulfill at times. The closing lines of this reading remind us of what is lasting and what fades with time. In the end, that love that we do feel/display/receive is part of the sustaining force.
I wonder what our parents give to “get us back?” The never-ending support and love so many times shrouded in a tough shell. What will my children recognize? Did I demonstrate enough living and abiding the word of God? When I am gone from this earth and from them, will they still see/know the Word that lasts forever? Mothers’ Day has just passed and for many has left us filled with gratitude for our mothers, living and dead. Mothers manifest many of these blessings given to us – the symbols in the psalm that we see daily in our lives. Perhaps this is my lesson for this reflection, remembering and appreciating both the gift of being mothered and the gift of mothering, the value of parents. As I think about the cards from both my daughter and son, my heart aches and my eyes become teary, the sentiments that they hand write on the cards touch me every time and I realize how incredibly blessed that I am. Did I remember to express those thoughts to my parents enough?
James and John, in many ways, seem like children vying for their parents’ attention. “Pick me, pick me!” “I want to sit closest!” I certainly realize that their desires are sincere yet I had to wonder why they thought they should be the ones in the “special” seats. In our humanness, we may find it difficult to grasp the expansiveness of God’s love. God does not love us less because there are others there as well. Much like the love of a mother (and father), the love expands with each child. Similarly, we express our love as we serve one another, much like our parents have done for us, not by being served or on a pedestal.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook