Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Extraordinary Hidden 2-2-10

Today's gospel story is a one-act play. Like such dramatic presentations, this one seems so ordinary. A young Jewish couple, Mary and Joseph, have come to Jerusalem. There at the temple they will fulfill the law, presenting their first-born son to Yahweh as well as offering the traditional sacrificial offering to the temple.

Like so many ordinary moments in life, there was in this event also an extraordinary treasure. Two "senior citizens," Simeon and Anna, said words that have significant meaning both for Mary and Joseph as well as for us today.

It is not easy for us to read the elders' words and not have an experience of the ordinary because we know "the rest of the story."

What this one-act teaches us is that we no doubt have many ordinary events that make up the hours of each day. So frequently they are taken as nothing but the ordinary, a repetition of an event. We walk through these moments, robot like. We have allowed ourselves to become programmed.

Perhaps in this one-act play, watching Simeon and Anna, we can see and experience of passion. Each of them was so committed to their vocation. They realized the "intention" that Yahweh had for them within their vocation. It seems to have been the driving force for them. Living with a genuine passion for what we are, for our own vocations -yes most of us have one, two or three vocations- for our families, for our work, for our communities and for our Church. It is when there is that "fire in the belly" that comes from a true passion for what we are or what we are doing, so many of the ordinary moments become revelations to the extraordinary insights and graces God intends for each of us. The well-used imperative -"Stop, look and listen!"- has genuine significance for us. It is the road map, the key to a treasure. That treasure is wisdom.