Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

January 10, 2012

Matthew Eusterman

4th Year Dental Student

1 Sm 1:9-20 OR 1:1-8
1 Sm 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd OR
Ps 116:12-13, 14-17, 18-19
Mk 1:14-20

Today marks the first day of “Ordinary Time” on the liturgical calendar.  Yes, that means no more “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” no more beautiful liturgical decorations, and no more school or work vacation time.  Christmas season has now come to an end and we are back to our “ordinary” world.  How boring, right? 

Today’s Gospel has a most wonderful response for us when we find this season of our life merely ordinary.  Jesus comes to the shore of the Sea of Galilee and he sees two brothers doing an ordinary day’s work - fishing.   He calls to them saying, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  (Mk 1:17) What is their response?  “Hey Simon, I think he’s crazy, just ignore him and I am sure he’ll go away.”  This is the response one might expect.  However, for us, their response to Jesus’ call is far from ordinary; it’s extraordinary - “Then they left their nets and followed him.” (Mk 1:18)  They left all that they held dear: families, work, security, comfort…everything to follow a man that said “come.”  This wasn’t a decision made out of boredom or disdain for their present state.  This was a decision awaiting them after years of extraordinary preparation.

So how does this apply to us?  Today we may find ourselves in what we think as ordinary times.  Instead of another day fishing, it’s another day of class or another day in the office.  If Jesus were to call us to “come after him” in our present state, would we drop everything and follow?  To answer this question, we have to honestly reflect on our day to day preparedness for Jesus’ call.  Simon and Andrew were not just Average Joes following the worldly trends of the time.  They were faithful Jews, who lived and breathed the Word of God and who were eagerly awaiting the Messiah.  They were prepared to meet Jesus and follow him until death.  In other words, their ordinary was indeed extraordinary and it was this way of living that allowed them to answer Jesus in this extraordinary way.

Our ordinary life is the most perfect challenge for us to live zealously for Jesus.  He does not leave us orphan to this mission.  He has given us a Church to constantly remind that the supernatural should be part of our ordinary lives.  Within the Church, he gives us the Sacraments, in particular the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to infuse us with the grace needed to live with zeal for him.  He gives us his Word, to teach us his ways.  He asks us to spend quality time with him in prayer, to commit every day to him.  Are we frequenting his grace in the Sacraments, in his Word, and in prayer?  Are we frequenting the extraordinary?  If not, how will our ordinary ways prepare us to courageously say yes to him?  May this “Ordinary Time” find us redefining ordinary by the way we live for Jesus extraordinarily.

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