Extraordinary actions in ordinary days

This weekend’s gospel portrays the third consecutive week in which Jesus is shown/manifested as the Son of God.  For three consecutive weeks we are given an epiphany of our God.  Two weeks ago we were reminded of the visit of the magi.  Last weekend we recalled the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist — and we heard the voice of God speak of Jesus as his beloved son.  This weekend … we see the power of God working through Jesus in the miracle of Cana — when Jesus, at a wedding celebration, changed water into wine.  Once again, the light shines upon Jesus — as God with us and working among us.

While for the family of the bride and groom … a wedding reception is an extra-ordinary event.  For close friends it is a special time.  But, for most guests — who attend weddings and receptions often — attending a reception is a rather ordinary event.  Nice — but not necessarily so EXTRA special.  In this ordinary time … in this ordinary event … God caused something extra-ordinary to happen.

On this weekend when the Church returns to “ordinary time” we are also faced with at least two extra-ordinary moments — the inauguration of a new four-year term for a re-elected President — and the remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King.

In a very real sense — President Obama and Dr. King are examples of ordinary people from simple beginnings who have now stepped forward to become “extra-ordinary” — outside the usual, different from the norm.  From where they began — somewhere along the line — change occurred — and the course of their lives became quite different.  Was it accident, providence, circumstances of history …?  whatever, it represents what can happen in ANY OF OUR LIVES …

Is there something that we need to bring to God … to put into the hands of Jesus … so that change can occur?

Think of this:  on a flight of 1,000 miles …. when the pilot of the airplane makes a slight adjustment in the course of the plane after 100 miles in flight … this slight change at mile 100 will lead to a big change by the end of mile 1,000.

In Newtown, CT, ordinary people took extraordinary action.  An extradordinary situation called out the best — the extraordinary — in dedicated teachers and counselors.  But more often, the extraordinary that we are called to live is not so dramatic.

The change that most of us need in life may not need to be so radical today — but any slight change may well represent a big change three years from now.

We are still very early into 2013.  There is a lot of living we need to do.  Most days over the remaining 11 1/2 months will be consumed with ordinary events — work, home life. kids, parents … housecleaning, filing of taxes, etc.  There will be a lot of regular stuff.  BUT, no doubt there will be unexpected and unforseen events that will allow for extraordinary effort that could make a big difference in someone’s life.

During the Christmas holidays I received a very nice, affirming note from one of our retired priests.  I took the time to respond … and later to talk with him.  This priest died early this morning.  I am so glad that I took the time to write a note and to talk with him.  To me — these ordinary events now have extraordinary meaning.

We can make a difference … God is calling us forth to shine a light … and to be a difference in the world for others …. it will not be as noticeable and dramatic as changing water into wine …. but it will be tangible and real for someone …. it will be meaningful for us and for someone else.

Dr. King did not set out to be a martyr or to have statues of himself or streets with his name.  No one is born to be President …. opportunities are seized and decisions are made that change the course of EVERY human life.  The ordinary becomes the stuff to reveal the extraordinary.

We all have different gifts and talents … we are all born with a mission and a purpose … different from the person next to us.  How can we use these gifts differently than we are now using them?

Is there — what is there — that I need to put into the hands of Jesus that so that he can effect a change?  As Mary said, “there is need!”  And Jesus responded when the waiters brought the jars of water.  Are we bringing “the water” to be changed?  As Jesus used the water …. he can use the stuff of our lives — if we are willing to bring it and let it go.

Ordinary times often call for extraordinary courage and action …. such courage leads to change … to making things different.

For those at the wedding feast of Cana — that was one reception to talk about!  Let us invite Jesus to come into our homes and lives …. and lets allow him to change things to his making and our amazement.

hjm

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