With the close of the Christmas season we return to our liturgical season called "ordinary." But when you think of it, it is really "extraordinary." Why? It is during this time between seasons and after the Easter season, during the long months of summer and fall, that we hear the events, teaching, and miracle stories of the public life of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a time we have the opportunity to learn from and reflect upon the "extraordinary" life of God become human among us.
This wonder worker, charismatic preacher, mysterious man who appears from the tiny village of Nazareth in northern Israel near the Sea of Galilee, makes claims in the synagogue of Nazareth, is baptized by John in the Jordan River, changes water into wine at a wedding celebration. He exorcises demons, preaches good news to the poor in spirit, challenges the religious elite of his time, calms the storm, feeds 5,000 hungry souls by a miraculous multiplication of bread and fish, walks on the lake in the midst of a storm, welcomes the "sinners:" heals lepers, forgives with compassion and mercy, gathers disciples, and calls all to follow him "the way, the truth, and the life." Then he raises the dead, is ultimately seized and imprisoned with blatant injustice, is executed on a cross but then rises from the dead and sends his disciples out on a mission to the world to preach, teach, baptize, and heal. There is nothing "ordinary" about all of that is there.
So, as we journey for the next two months - Ash Wednesday and Lent begin on March 1st this year - let us follow more deeply our Savior. May we learn from his teaching to be loyal to him and courageously live our Catholic-Christian faith. May we be not ordinary Christians - but extraordinary followers of Christ.
Peace to all in our journey.