January 14, 2019
by Jeanne Schuler
Creighton University's Philosophy Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 205

Hebrews 1:1-6
Psalms 97:1 and 2b, 6 and 6c, 9
Mark 1:14-20

Praying Ordinary Time
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“Then they left their nets and followed him.”  (Mark 1: 18)

Religions teach that the source of all being is one.  God is One.  For Christians, this oneness is generative.  Love is bountiful and brings forth.  The Son is begotten by the Father and bears “the very imprint of his being.”  Out of their love arises the Spirit.  Nothing is more real than the indwelling of Father, Son, and Spirit.  This intimacy is everlasting and begets all things.  From the robin to the quark, each reflects the love at its source.  The universe dazzles.  But no angel catches the light like the first born, Jesus.  The Son was uttered into space and time as the Word became flesh.  Jesus trod the dry roads of ancient Palestine and dwelt amongst us.  As first born, the Son knows no beginning.

God becomes one of us.  How this stretches the mind!  No wonder revelation trickles in over generations.  It is too much to take in.  Skeptics try to put on the brakes.  If mystery transcends human measures, it lies beyond our reach.  Even words tarnish the truth.  We better remain silent.  For skeptics, the intellect goes dark in God’s presence.  So stop with God’s oneness and puzzle no further.

But the creed we share is bold.  “I believe in the one God, the Father almighty…”  From words arise new ways of being; we are not chained to an anthropomorphic wheel.  Meaning takes us deeper; it is never just about us.  Through faith our horizon expands as each catches the cosmic vibration, the love that moves all things.
To catch fish requires patience.  Hours or even days pass with nothing to show for your efforts.  But this is their livelihood.  They repair the nets and set out again. On the sea they grow attentive to the waves, the clouds, the tug on the line.  They learn to listen.  What did they hear in the words of the man who approached them on the shore?   Jesus didn’t make a speech.  Just one promise: you will be fishers of men.  What they heard tugged deep.  Like a shiny fish, out leapt a Yes.

When we keep it simple, life slows down.  It is easier to pay attention.  A new sound may be heard.  This time we answer yes.

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