We now settle down into the season of Ordinary Time. I have always had an ambivalent attitude towards this title, “Ordinary” time? Surely as the People of God enlivened and inspired with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit it should rather be called “Extra-ordinary Time”! But then again perhaps Ordinary is right, for living in the life of the Spirit should be normal for all of us because God has chosen us to be his close friends.
Our readings this week all deal with how the word of God brings healing and life. Elijah calls as a prophet in prayer for God to restore the widow of Zarephath’s child and God does. Jesus raises the widow of Nain’s son by a simple command. St Paul speaks to the Galatians about the Good News not being a human message but a revelation learned from Jesus the Christ.
The Word of God is efficacious, but for it to really change things it has to be received with a totally open heart of faith. Like all communication, it takes at least two, the speaker and the listener. One of the bed rocks of Christian Anthropology is that we have Potentia obedientialis, a basic ability/openness to hear/obey the word of God within us and follow it. When we couple this with our desire to look beyond ourselves (a supernatural existential as Karl Rahner calls it) we can see that being open to and searching for the Word is ordinary to our nature, so perhaps Ordinary Time is correct…the theologizing may continue! Whatever it may be, the key is to be open!
God bless you, your families, and the week ahead.
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ