This Sunday we enter into the season called Ordinary Time, which makes up 33 weeks of the year when we are not in Advent, Christmas, Lent or Easter Seasons. This is the time Jesus begins His ministry of healing and miracles and encourages us to put His extraordinary message into the ordinary part of our lives. This past week, in last Wednesday’s Gospel (Mark 1:29-39), Jesus asks us to follow His commitment to four pillars: prayer, preaching, healing, and freeing others from their demons.
Certainly, our life begins and ends with prayer. This reminder to put prayer front and center in our lives will bring us many benefits. First, without prayer we will soon run out of patience and gentleness that was one of Jesus’ hallmarks. Second, with prayer we build our life with God who is always ready to listen to us. Last, prayer is the place where God talks to us and pushes us into doing good in the world.
Although many of us might feel uncomfortable or unworthy to preach to others, our world will never know Jesus if we don’t find ways to speak of Him. It can be as simple as encouraging others to take care of their health by not smoking or drinking or it can be as engaging as inviting others to learn about the joys of our Catholic faith, like the gifts of Eucharist or Reconciliation. The First letter of Peter reminded us we must be ready to give a reason for our hope. “Catholic Answers” is a great website and book series that can be very helpful on subjects we Catholics always get challenged about.
Healing and releasing others from their demons may sound like the same thing but have a clear distinction. Healing can be as simple as giving medicines to or caring for the sick in your family or our shelter or it can be in bringing reconciliation/forgiveness to alienated family or friends. Healing others from their demons is more than the work of exorcists, but is also done when we help free people from negative self-talk, addictions, or even loneliness. Certainly, all instances of releasing people from their demons is a healing but not all healings involve demons.
It is not likely we will do these 4 things with the same frequency as Jesus, except for praying, still these are our pillars for Ordinary Time. Prayer will help us to know when to do each of these. Prayer will lead us to put them into action and as we do, we will soon see that Ordinary Time can really be quite extraordinary.
With a heart for Mission,