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Going Deeper With The King


“You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.” ~ Mitch Albom

On the heels of Jesus’ Baptism, our Church today returns to Ordinary Time, a name I’ve always felt was a bit underwhelming in light of whose life now takes center stage, who it is that we will seek to encounter more intimately by way of his public ministry on our journey towards the Holy Season of Lent. There is nothing ordinary about Jesus. Oscar Wilde once said “Never love anyone who treats you like your ordinary.” All one needs to do is glance at the cross to know that Jesus’ love for us is far from ordinary. Indescribable instead comes to mind.

But it is during Ordinary Time that the conscientious and faith-filled in our midst will grow and flourish. Whereas the Christmas and Easter Seasons are the 1.5” inch New York Strip Steak on one’s Liturgical plate, Ordinary Time is the steamed broccoli, so vital for our well-being, sustenance and overall fitness. Perhaps that’s why our priests will don their green chasubles in the days ahead?
We begin today however with an Old Testament passage from the beginning of the first book of Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1-8). It is here that we encounter a forlorn Hannah, as she prays for a child, a child who would go on to become the man for whom this very Book is written .

We begin Ordinary Time with this passage from Samuel because it is here that the Kingdom of David begins to take shape. Hannah gives birth to Samuel and promptly gives him to the Lord. Samuel would go on to anoint David, and then of course Jesus was anointed by John the Baptist. By virtue of this anointing, this baptism, Jesus, the very Word made Flesh, becomes the new King of Israel After his ascension into Heaven, Christians acknowledge him as the King of the Universe

In today’s Gospel Passage (Mark 1:14-20), we revisit that seminal moment when Jesus called the Apostles into full discipleship. We revisited Matthew’s rendition of this tale back on November 30th in support of the Feast Day of the first Apostle called, the great Saint Andrew This is the time of fulfillment,” Jesus declares. “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel

Let us vow to use Ordinary Time to plumb the depths of Jesus’ remarkable earthly journey. To go deeper with the King of Israel, this remarkable, one-of-a-kind ruler who came to serve, to forgive, and to transform. “This,” notes theologian Dr. Tim Gray, “is the adventure of Ordinary Time.”

I leave you with words of Saint Anthony the Great, whose memorial we will celebrate in a few days He said ”Whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes; whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it. Keep these three precepts and you will be saved.”

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…and there’s nothing ordinary about that.

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