Well it’s gone. On Monday we took down our Christmas tree and put away all the decorations. As I packed away the Nativity figures that had been in front of our altar there was a tinge of sadness in my heart. But wait! Although it was the end of the liturgical Christmas Season it was also the first day of Ordinary Time! In a homily one day a young priest reminded us: “Once you know Jesus Christ how can any time be Ordinary?!”
And that’s true! As I meditated on the Mass readings this week my heart has been filled with great joy as I learn still more new things about the Lord. (Knowledge of him can never be exhausted). Today’s reading from St. Mark’s Gospel tells us how Jesus left Peter’s home early in the morning and went off to a deserted place where He was absorbed in prayer! I found myself asking the Lord to fill me with the grace to be absorbed in prayer – not just to show up in the chapel and make a weak attempt to pray but to be fully ABSORBED in prayer. (Mark 1:35)
The clue here is that Jesus went off to a deserted place. Sometimes there is a “crowd” in my head as I try to pray. Jesus was able to get in touch with His Father because he was away from the crowds that surged against him day after day during his public life. To be absorbed in prayer we must get away from those “crowds” in order to be quiet and to really pray. (I know I have probably made this point before but for me it bears repeating!)
If you find yourself bogged down in the January doldrums remember this is no Ordinary time! Once you know Jesus Christ – really come to know Him – time can never be ordinary again!