Now, with all the major celebrations behind us we should have managed to refuel ourselves with a positive and enthusiastic approach to the challenges of Christian discipleship.

This week we embark on a four-week {plus a few days} programme of routine life and living. I have deliberately chosen the word routine – not ordinary! Christian-Catholics should not be living ordinary lives. In fact, we should be living extraordinary lives. As some of you may recall, I have a slight allergy to the description of these weeks between the end of the Christmas Season and the start of Lent as the ordinary time of the liturgical year.

All too often the word ordinary carries the undertone of mundane. I do not wish or choose for my life to be mundane! After all, there is no excuse for my ordinary evening dinner to be bland or mundane. If it is then I really need to go out and purchase a few simple recipe books. The previous six or seven weeks have provided us with the recipes which contain a list of the basic ingredients (nothing fancy or untoward) of how to produce extraordinary lives.

This is why the Scriptures of this second

(the first was the Baptism of the Lord) ordinary Sunday feels confident enough to proclaim two basic attitudes. Firstly, ” I have come, Lord, to do your will … a new song in my mouth.” (see the PSALM: 40 or 39 – and the Response); and, secondly, speak for your servant hears. (see the OLD TESTAMENT READING: I SAMUEL 3: 3b – 10. 19).

It is worthwhile, in our context, to note some words from our

NEW TESTAMENT READING (1 CORINTHIANS 6: 13c – 15a. 17 – 20) where we read you are not your own; you were bought with a price. Now, add some crucial words from TODAY’S GOSPEL (JOHN 1: 35 – 42)and they followed Jesus.

All of this points out how extraordinary we are called to be. If we are to follow Jesus, we must accept that we are not our own and, if we (servants and disciples) choose to do his will there is a need to hear when he speaks because it is the only way we are empowered to sing something new. Here it is not suggested that we should be inventing anything from scratch. Rather, it challenges us to make what has been passed on to us relevant and presentable to our own contemporary world.

The challenge is not so much what we present but HOW WE PRESENT IT. There is nothing boring or humdrum about the Gospel. However, too often how we communicate it is boring. We reduce it to the humdrum. Do not overlook the fact that Samuel had to be ‘prodded’ by Eli to recognise who was calling him – and HOW he should respond!

In all of this it is important we focus on the dramatic interchange between Jesus and those two original disciples as recorded in our Gospel extract. ….. “What do you seek? …. Where are you staying? … “Come and see.”

What do I seek?

HOW do I seek it?

Where do you stay? Do I know where

I AM STAYING – and HOW I STAY?

Come and see.

Do I hear the invitation and want to see where and how HE lives?

Our answers determine the degree to which we are extraordinary and move beyond the mundane. We must become more than humdrum Christians.

 

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