Ordinary Time: A Great Time to Reflect on Our Relationship With God
Last Sunday was the conclusion of the Christmas season celebrations. At this time we’re returning to Ordinary time. But this past year has been anything but “ordinary.” We have all experienced unusual issues that lead to additional stress in our lives.
This is a great time to reflect on our relationship with God. Our gospel readings this month give us a good opportunity to focus on that relationship.
On January 3, we heard the story of the three Magi (the feast of the Epiphany). The Magi are searching for the newborn savior. When they find him, they are overjoyed and do Him homage. Their lives are forever changed from that moment on!
Like the Magi, we also are searching for God in our life. Our search is not a physical journey of distance, but rather a spiritual journey into our soul. When we find God are we “overjoyed?” Or do we avoid His presence in our life? This would be a significant change in people’s lives – many do not want change.
The search for God in our life is not always easy. The Magi had traveled a long distance, they were tired and had to ask for help to find their goal. We also need to persevere in our quest. Our prayer life is our energy for the journey; and we need to ask help from others as we continue on.
We are God’s Children
In the 1st Reading for January 3, we see that Jerusalem is called the light of the world that proclaims the glory of God. What that’s saying is that when we find God, we are the people of God.
People worshiping together, proclaiming the glory of the Lord is the result of finding God.
Last Sunday’s gospel tells of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. When Jesus comes up from the water, God says to Him, “you are my beloved Son.” When we follow the word of God, we are the sons and daughters of God.
In this Sunday’s gospel Andrew and another disciple start following Jesus. Jesus turns to them and says, “What are you looking for?” And Jesus invites them to follow Him. They stay with Him that day; and then, returning to their community, Andrew proclaims, “We have found the Messiah.”
Making a “Leap of Faith”
From that point on, they (and Andrew’s brother Simon Peter) are disciples of Jesus. They have made the leap of faith – trusting in God.
But making that leap of faith is not easy. I would like to offer an example. We’re currently housing a stray kitten. One day last November, when we opened the back door, this tiny stray kitten wandered in.
She quickly decided that life inside was better than life outside and has become a member of the house. However, she still has instinctive fears. She loves attention. Recently I was sitting in a chair and she approached; she was afraid to come up next to me. I wanted to comfort her, but she was afraid.
I reflected that this is much like our relationship with God. We know God loves us – He says to us, “Trust Me.” But we’re afraid to leap into His open arms. The “cause” of this hesitation may be called “original sin.” There is something in human nature that makes us afraid to risk what we have – to make that “leap of faith.”
Each of us needs to experience an Epiphany – to see God in our life; then we need to answer God’s call. Like Samuel in today’s 1st Reading, we need to say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
Blessings Upon All This New Year!
Deacon Tom Corcoran
“You are the light of the world. Do not light a lamp then put it under a bushel basket…. your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:5-16
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