January 14, 2024 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
As a priest, I’m amazed how happily married couples remember the tiniest details of their earliest encounters. They effortlessly report things like: “he wore a blue shirt,” “we ordered brussels sprouts,” “her hair was up in a bun,” and “he spilled shrimp cocktail sauce at my family’s open front door when it was ten degrees below zero,” (that one’s courtesy of my mom). We delight in remembering and speaking of when our new life of love began. The little details are glorious reminders that it’s all real.
It’s similar for John the Apostle. He tells us of the two disciples who followed Jesus into his house, “…they stayed with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.” Why does that tiny detail matter? Because that’s the time of day when they encountered the love of Jesus the Messiah in their lives. Our religion is not primarily about abstract truths about God, no matter how true or sublime. It is about God meeting and saving us in our human nature. It’s about a human relationship. What was the time of day when you first recall encountering Christ and his Church? Who was there? What did you feel? How did things look and smell? What happened? Take some time to recall it in detail. For me, it was inside an old, rickety church on a hillside in Jerome, Arizona. It was about 9 p.m. on a Saturday evening. I was with my friends Jenny, Brad, and Laura. We were praying, singing, and laughing. When was it for you? Remembering the details isn’t empty nostalgia. It reminds us now that God’s love for us in our humanity is real.
— Father John Muir ©LPi