Ordinary or Extraordinary? (2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jan. 18, 2015)

We’re now in Ordinary Time in the Church Year.It’s just what it is: ordinary, nothing exciting, no big feasts, a doorway to the more penitential season of Lent. In terms of calendar time, it’s also a very ordinary time; here in the northern climes we just basically hunker down and try to get through the winter.

That sense of the ordinary also touches on Sunday’s Gospel. Jesus turned and saw them [the two disciples] following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.”

What could be simpler? The exchange is apparently so ordinary, you may wonder why John included itespecially when these words are the first ones we hear Jesus speak in this gospel. What sounds at first like a person annoyed by apparent stalkers, and then a request for a street address, and then a surprising but matter-of-fact invitation is really a quite profound exchange. John’s simple language is much deeper than it appears at first.

“What are you looking for?” is perhaps the deepest question one person can ask another. To paraphrase, “Whatreally, down deepare you seeking as your life your life? Power? Pleasure? Wealth? Relief from loneliness? Relief from pain, hunger? Knowledge? Truth? Love?” How do you answer this question right now?

“Where are you staying?” The Greek word for “stay,” means something deeper than what is your address. In the Gospel of John this word refer to a person’s source of being and ultimate purpose. So in this case the disciples were really asking: “Where do you come from, Master? What is the source of your life? Whoreally, down deepare you?”

Maybe we can make this ordinary time an extraordinary time by going with Jesus via the Gospels and personal prayer, and seeing where it leads us!

Be God’s smile for someone today!

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