“Taste and see that the Lord is good;”
One of the invitations in today’s readings is found in the very final reading, the Communion Antiphon: “Taste and see that the Lord is good…”
How can any time be ordinary when I am in the presence of my beloved? How can any time be ordinary when even though I am alone, I am joyfully or painfully aware of my lover, my beloved? How can any time be ordinary when I am surrounded by the touch, the smell, the sight, the sound, the aura of my beloved, my lover, my Lord?
Recently my mother passed away. She died a peaceful, painless and graceful death. She was 97. She died of old age. On the most ordinary of Saturdays an extraordinary event occurred. Ruth was born into new life. Love lightly touched me as Love gently took her hand.
On the most ordinary of Tuesday evenings, after a long and difficult labor a healthy baby girl wailed into life. Two ordinary young parents were relieved, thrilled, overwhelmed and exhausted. New life - special and distinctive.
On the most ordinary of nights, an ordinary young woman, gothic in appearance and heavily tattooed searches out ordinary homeless men. She rescues them from the cold. She offers them hospitality: a hot meal and a warm bed.
Ordinary? Maybe. Extraordinary? Definitely. Kisses of the loving presence of the Other blesses the ordinary into the extraordinary.
This afternoon an ordinary juvenile cardinal found herself captive in our garage. The door was open wide. Still she could not find her way out. She was frantic, frightened and confused. Her regal scarlet-feathered father ever alert, patiently over and over again tried to coax her to freedom. Tried to show her the way. Hours later, exhausted and desperate to be free she furiously attacked the window. Dad perched close as possible, yet, just beyond reach, a window pane away. Protecting. Present. Vigilant. Deceivingly calm. Chirping notes of endearment, of encouragement, of hope. Chaos reigned in the batting of wings, amidst squawks and squeals of desperation. She could hear love’s call, but remained captive. Safety was a wilderness wingtip away. How much longer could this struggle for reunion go on?
An ordinary day, possibly an ordinary event in the life of ordinary birds, yet not so ordinary for me. Patience, presence, caring, yearning, struggle and desperation, constancy, vigilance – human attributes. I witnessed the best of myself mirrored in the ordinary relationship of birds. Extraordinary.
Taste, feel, smell, hear and see the ordinary goodness of the Lord.
That I may taste, feel, touch, hear, and see the presence of my Lord in the ordinary. My Lord flavors my ordinary life in unique, special and distinctive ways – always. I would not call life ordinary – not yours, not mine, not the Church’s.
“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”
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