This week we revert to what is termed The Ordinary Time of the Year. Many of you will know that I have never been comfortable with this terminology. Yes, I know what it indicates but since when has time been ordinary? Time is integrally connected with space.My time and my space should never be ordinary. Rather, it is what I make of it, and what I make of it should never be ordinary. This, too often, means that I take it for granted, let things slip, meander around and achieve little, if anything. It also indicates that the past has taught me very little, if anything.

So, this week we arrive from all our Lenten efforts and the eight weeks of Easter and Resurrection (new life and action). All of this has been crowned with the celebrations of Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity, followed by the Sunday focussed on Eucharist. How is it possible for me to be ordinary?! If I am then I have lost the plot.

The news, then, is that al through these ordinary weeks we must bear in mind where we ended the last weeks of reflection – what we GIVE (the immediate return) will provide a satisfactory first course. Here we are not, primarily, concerned about the giving of material things but, rather, the giving of ourselves. The start of this

‘ordinary time’ should find us well equipped, ready, willing and able to go into our immediate world and contribute something specifically Christian and of Gospel value.

Here we should hear two vital challenges from this Sunday’s

{the 10th of ordinary time} scriptures. The first comes from TODAY’S PSALM [30 or 29] where we pray “I will extol you, Lord, for you have raised me up.” This verse contains two specific thoughts for reflection. To begin with, I will extol you – the need for us to PRAISE our God. Before any other words of prayer the very first should always be a prayer of praise. Do I, in reality, praise my God nearly sufficiently? The very first words of the Church’s official daily prayer are “come ring out your joy to the Lord; hail the rock who saves us. Let us come before him, giving thanks, with songs let us hail the Lord.”

The second challenge from today’s scriptures is found in

THE GOSPEL [LUKE 7: 11 – 17]. There we read that Jesus “came and touched the bier …. and he said, ‘young man, I say to you, arise’.” I need to apply these words to my own situation after the empowering weeks I have celebrated. It may well be that in my life there were elements of my discipleship which had died and I may even have perceived them for being carried out for burial. Now the Lord comes and says to me “I say to you, arise.” In other words – GET UP AND GET GOING!

However, let us not overlook what followed next –

“the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him back to his mother.”

Have I heard the command of Jesus to get up and go?

The Lord wants to give the whole of me back to the Church, my parish, my family and the community in which I live. In order to do this, the Lord wants to see me get up – and begin to speak. This approach is confirmed by Saint Paul in our NEW TESTAMENT READING [GALATIANS 1: 11 – 19]. “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me …. .” Surely these last eight weeks of the Easter Season have revealed something new and special to me about the Son, risen from the dead? Why am I so hesitant to give something of what has been revealed to me?

OUR OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURE [1 KINGS 17: 17 – 24]

is a mirror image of what we have been reflecting on. “Let this child’s soul come into him again.” Why are we hesitant when the last weeks have revived us? Once again we hear that the person who was ‘dead’ was GIVEN BACK to the community. Remember our Psalm – “I will extol you, Lord, for you have raised me up.” Indeed, “the word of the Lord is in (my) mouth.”

It is time to start giving back.

There is nothing ordinary about this challenge!

 

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