Always we begin again

The blog has been updated! We do not actually have any snow on the ground (last night’s flurry notwithstanding), but it’s chilly today so the new header picture is appropriate.

After the preparations of Advent and subsequent Christmas celebrations, life has settled down to normal (although there is little of either the settling or the normal around here) and the liturgy has switched to Ordinary Time.

Ordinary Time is of course not very ordinary at all. Rather, it was once explained, this is ordered time: instead of drifting through winter, vaguely hoping for warmer weather, there is a purpose and direction to each day and week, carefully measuring our spiritual progress until we begin preparing for Easter. In our Office we still count the weeks after Epiphany, a method which I think roots us all the more firmly in the reality of the liturgical year.

A thought from Father’s homily this morning struck me forcefully: we all of us come with our own background, experiences, and history. We are immensely complicated people, in modern life perhaps moreso than our predecessors fifty or a hundred years ago, but no person is or has ever been one-dimensional. Despite our complexities, the call of Christ, to us as to Levi the tax collector¹, is alarmingly and disarmingly simple: follow me!

With these words, I believe, Our Lord asks us to let Him deal with all the barriers between Him and us. The difficulties we face in life are not belittled (indeed, we are promised even more of them!), but they are given perspective and purpose in two short words. In this one moment Our Lord looked Levi in the eye and invited him to a completely different life: one which to an outsider looks exactly the same, but which interiorly is utterly transformed.

It is this to-the-point nature of Christ which I believe the author of Hebrews means in today’s Epistle²: a sharp double-edged blade that will slice cleanly what no other can even touch. There is no hiding from Our Lord’s influence in our lives! It is challenging, and sometimes intimidating; it is also renewing, revolutionary, and the way by which we can come to eternal happiness.

Tomorrow there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the church after Mass. Come and see God face-to-face (and live!). And please, pray for us as we do for you.

¹Mk 2:14
²Heb 4:12f