In the Ordinary
|(Leonardo da Vinci, Head of St. Andrew)|
For a couple of weeks now, the lectionary has focused on the end times. I have to admit that it's my least favorite part of the liturgical year. It's confusing and misleading! I want to sit down with Jesus and say, "explain this to me, in plain English."
So, I was especially delighted to find the readings for St. Andrew in my prayer book this morning.
The Apostles are rather extraordinary--but they are also very ordinary. We do not know a whole lot about Andrew. However, we know that he's the one who brought his brother, Simon Peter, to meet Jesus, and Peter becomes rather well-known among the Apostles.
It's important for us to see Jesus' companions as ordinary people. Jesus did not choose the most intelligent, or the best preachers, or those in influential positions in society. He chose men (and women!) who were just like us. They were doing what they knew how to do (fishing, for example) to bring food to their family table. Some of Jesus' followers had pretty bad reputations in society. Most were simply unknown. And then, Zacchaeus is known for his short stature!
Following Jesus is not for extraordinary people. Each one of us, with each of our foibles and all of our gifts, is called to follow Jesus, to live an ordinary Christian life, and to contribute to our world and church however we are able. Paul speaks of the different parts of the body being necessary to the body as a whole. So also, each of our abilities, big and small, are needed in our world.
One of Mother Teresa's most famous quotes is "We can do no great things, but only small things with great love."
And even before that, St. Philippine Duchesne said: "We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self."
Help us, Jesus, to follow you in everything we do, even our smallest everyday actions. Through them, may we show your love to the world.