Ordinary Time, Winter 2021
by Rosemarie Pace
As those who have been reading these reflections for years know, the
liturgical season of Ordinary Time does not mean ordinary in the secular
sense. It does mean, however, that we are in between those very special
seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. Nevertheless Ordinary
Time can be special in its own way. It’s meant to be a time of
reflection and growth.
And how do we do that? Well the first Sunday of Ordinary Time this year
(referred to as the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time in the lectionary)
gives us a clear idea. In the First Reading, Samuel is introduced to God
and instructed to respond when God calls by saying: “Speak, Lord, your
servant is listening.” And so we, too, learn that we must listen. In the
Gospel, a couple of disciples follow Jesus who turns to them and asks,
“What are you looking for?” When they respond, “Where are you staying?”
Jesus simply says, “Come, and you will see.” Thus we learn that we must
also look and see.
Easily said, but the problem is that we are not always very good at
listening or looking and seeing. Our prayers are often filled with our
own chatter, but little time for God to get a word in edgewise. Or we
may hear God, but not like what God is saying to us. God may be calling
us out of our comfort zone, asking us to sacrifice, accept suffering, or
open to someone or something that we don’t really want to encounter. In
addition, we may not like what God is revealing to us. Who wants to see
people in need, an environment under stress likely at our own hands, or
a world in conflict to benefit the few while the majority are abused and
neglected? Jesus led his disciples to amazing sights of healing and
forgiveness, but also to the cross.
So let’s use this Ordinary Time to develop our listening, looking, and
seeing skills. And then let’s get out there and follow Jesus in word and
deed, healing divisions, demanding justice, and building peace.
A Prayer for Being a Good Listener
God, it’s interesting that we often plead for Your attention and
certainly expect You to listen to our prayers and You assure us through
Your word that You hear us when we call on You. But for true fellowship
to exist we too must listen to Your voice through Scripture, through
fellow believers, through Your many works of creation, and through Your
still small voice that beckons our attention. You have so much to tell
us that will often encourage us, sometimes reprove us, but always spur
us on to good works and needed spiritual perspective as we journey here
below. Help us to listen, to heed, and to be steadfast in our fellowship
with You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Spend time in prayer in silence, allowing God to speak to you.
Take time to listen—to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, all who need a receptive ear.
Practice being more observant of the physical world around you and of events happening in your environment and on the news. Let beauty delight you and needs inspire you to act.
Pax Christi Metro New York © 2020
371 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014 | (212)420-0250 | fax (212)420-1628