These days after Christmas and before Lent are called ‘Ordinary Time’ in our liturgical calendar… but if you take a closer look, you’ll see that there’s really nothing ordinary about it at all. We have had a series of Sunday Gospels that can totally knock your socks off! Take a read:
John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Andrew told Simon: “We have found the Messiah.”
Read the whole story from the Gospel of John: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011512.cfm.
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
This Gospel from Mark can be found here: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012212.cfm.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
Another Gospel from Mark is here: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012912.cfm.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.
And the third week in a row from the Gospel of Mark: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/020512.cfm.
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
Another reading from Mark: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/021212.cfm
He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”
And more from Mark: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/021912.cfm
Did you pick up on the theme?
In each of these Gospel readings, Jesus is telling the apostles: Hey guys! The Kingdom of God is right here right now. God is standing right in front of you!
We all know that the apostles were a little dense in understanding this message. Some of them started to catch on but it still took some convincing on Jesus’ part for them to really believe.
Jesus healed people. He drove out unclean spirits. He cured Peter’s mother-in-law from her fever. He made a paralyzed man walk. And he preached with such commanding authority that people stopped to ask who he was. Jesus astounded everyone with his words and his deeds.
Stop and think about that for a minute: The Kingdom of God is here… right here… in the middle of you and your friends and your family and everyone around you.
God is present. Right where you are. God promises to always be present right where you are… wherever you are. It’s a promise. And God keeps his promises.
No… there’s nothing ordinary about this time at all. It’s all very extra-ordinary.