What a rich pair of readings for this Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time! We often think of these ordinary days as what fill the gaps between one liturgical celebration and another and not worth much attention, but how wrong we are.
In I Samuel, we read the story of the call and anointing of Samuel. It’s worth noting that Samuel readily answers, “Here I am, Lord.” to each of God’s calls even when he thought he was responding to Eli’s call. Once he learned it was God’s voice, he responds with a (we can imagine) heartfelt, “Speak for your Servant is listening.”
It is new enough in the year that we may be still attempting to respond:”Here, I am,” to the nudges that prompted our set of 2012 resolutions. In the silence of our hearts, what message do we hear with which to embrace this new year with relish and fidelity? Might it be a call to a healthier lifestyle, a more compassionate response to the people behind the headlines whether we agree with their ideas or not, a more focused attempt to be an informed voter in November, or a less consumerist and simpler lifestyle?
But before we despair of measuring up, let’s turn to the Gospel: the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law. Her cure brought forth a number of other ailing folks, even some possessed by demons! The next morning Jesus left very early be alone and to pray. When His companions found Him, His energy had been restored and on they went to other villages for more healings and encounters with demons. Note, please, that these whom Jesus cured had not tried to pull themselves together; they merely presented themselves or were presented for help.
Today’s readings leave me consoled and eager for another “ordinary day.” I’m also comforted by knowing that despite my inability to keep 2012 resolutions any better than 2011’s, it’s not up to me. What I do need to do is show up and stay present to God’s desire to make me whole in the many places where I need it. I wonder if we couldn’t simply show up together for the dose of God’s Love available to us tomorrow. And the next day and the next…
Happy New Year!
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