BY FATHER TIM JOHNSON - ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH
We notice sometimes, other times we're simply oblivious to the ordinary.
Walking early one morning, a couple weeks ago, the dusk providing a wonderful backdrop for the canopy of stars above. A gentleman was slowly walking his dog, leashed but still randomly moving from side to side. A van pulled out of a driveway, turning and heading north to wherever their work may be. There were a few remaining piles of snow alongside a neighborhood street, its white luster now tarnished; two subdued blue lights shining next to the stoop of a house.
In the "ordinary" I somehow felt a presence of peace, a simple grace of movement, if you will. A day no less or no more like any other, beginning with the planned, the routine, the unexpected and the "last minute."
With the routine of our daily life — "the ordinary" — is it possible to witness that something more as the late poet John Milton describes?
"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
With our summit as Christians — Easter Sunday — in the recent past, we are reminded again of the great gift of the Resurrection, the Promise, the hope of eternal life. We re-enact the greatest love story: our Savior's passion, suffering, and crucifixion all for the sake of God’s unconditional love and mercy upon us, his beloved, in good times and difficult.
Children were dressed up and adults gathered as individuals and as families to listen again to the gospel passage of Jesus' resurrection, the uplifting songs we offer our voices in collaboration with the choirs, and the Easter meal with family seated at table. Lest I forget, the Easter baskets that were awaiting children on this Easter morning. In our busy world we pause to remind ourselves of this extraordinary gift on this extraordinary day: the first Sunday following the first full moon following the first day of spring —Easter.
Possibly as Eugene Peterson (minister and Christian writer) frames it, with our presence in the church we choose to pause and worship this Easter. It draws us toward the extraordinary in the ordinary: "If you keep the Sabbath, you start to see creation not as somewhere to get away from your ordinary life, but a place to frame an attentiveness to your life."
When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered [Jesus’] head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. (John 20:8-9)
God bless us with the faith to believe and graciousness to receive the hope of the Resurrection in our ordinary days and extraordinary moments of life.
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." ( Albert Einstein)