Universalis, About this blog

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Today's Gospel reading (Jn 1:35-42) shows how the ordinary can become an encounter with Jesus.
As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher –’where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day.
  One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.
Saints Andrew and John and the Lamb of God, Abtei Maria Laach,  by Wilhelm Rupprecht (1956). John marks this passage with a clue: John stared hard at Jesus in the first verse, then Jesus "looked hard" at Simon in the last, with the same Greek ἐμβλέψας on both. In this passage, John introduces his disciple Andrew on to Jesus, and Andrew in turn introduces his brother Simon to Jesus. Simon not only becomes a disciple of Jesus, but is given another name, Rock.
  May I also turn the most ordinary scenes of my daily life, at home or at work, into something extraordinary and sanctified!
  One of the first lessons I learned from Opus Dei, when I attended their study center back in college, was how our ordinary activities can be sanctified as we do them extraordinarily well, prayerfully -- I'm paraphrasing the various ways I'd heard or read about this idea. This, of course, comes from St. Josemaria Escriva, who was influenced, I'd read, by the writings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Also, just by googling, I found out that Prof. Scott Hahn, one of my favorite Christian writers, has written a book on his road to Opus Dei: Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace: My Spiritual Journey in Opus Dei. Those are three witnesses whose writings I can recommend, although I have not yet read any book by St. Thérèse, only a reflection on her witness by Pope Benedict XVI.
Photo source: http://05varvara.wordpress.com.

No comments: