January 10, 2022
Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Introduction to “Extraordinary” Time
Today, we freshly begin a new cycle in our spiritual lives - the liturgical season of Ordinary Time 2022.
It is a perfect moment to wake ourselves to the truth that nothing is “ordinary” about being alive in God.
The extraordinary reality is that we have been given the gift of life!
Each day we are given a new portion of grace to deepen in God!
So let’s decide not to get used to:
- to waking up in the morning
- to the people in our lives
- to the work we have to do
Each one of these “extraordinary” gifts holds a particular secret for us to be enriched by God’s lavish mercy and love. May we never fail to appreciate that every moment is a new invitation to love. Our daily scriptural prayer offers us a good way to unwrap these gifts by drawing on the revelation of God. For this “Ordinary Time 2022”, I hope to focus our reflections on the “hidden extraordinary” - a word, thought, or challenge in each day’s readings that we might otherwise have taken for granted. May God give us the graceful appreciation to unwrap these gifts!
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we awaken to these extraordinary gifts revealed in our readings:
Love – Welcome – Gratitude
On this first “ordinary” Monday, we begin a month of readings from the Books of Samuel. These are wonderful stories with memorable characters and life-changing choices!
In our first reading today, we meet Hannah, mother of the prophet Samuel. Other than in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel, she is never again mentioned in the Bible. Yet she is also considered to be a prophet, and her song of thanksgiving a foreshadowing of the Magnificat.
In today’s reading, Hannah is given “a double portion” of good because she is so loved by her husband.
When the day came for Elkanah to offer sacrifice, he used to give a portion each to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, but a double portion to Hannah because he loved her, though the LORD had made her barren.1 Samuel 1:4-5
In our Gospel, Jesus invites the curious disciples to share his life, just as He invites us:
Jesus said to them,“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”Mark 1: 14
And our beautiful Responsorial Psalm offers us a way to pray our thanks for these immeasurable gifts:
How shall I make a return to the LORDPsalm 116: 12-13
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
Through our scripture-nourished prayer, may we open the gifts of extraordinary love, extraordinary welcome, and extraordinary gratitude wrapped in our own ordinary lives this day.
Poetry: NO ONE KNOWS HIS NAME – Francis of Assisi (The “extraordinary” often may be hidden from us!)
No one knows his name
— a man who lives on the streets
and walks around in rags.
Once I saw that man in a dream.
He and God were constructing
an extraordinary temple.
Music: Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it “music”, rather kind of a rap… but the words are perfect.