O is for Ordinary


New weekly musings inspired by the alphabet... 

An essay for Holy Week... 

What’s the prevalent attitude in our society now? 
(and, really, has always been prevalent in human society…) 
I make more money than you do, therefore I am better than you. 
My car cost more.
My house is bigger.
My vacations are farther away. 
My kids are smarter.
Look at how great my life is!  
Therefore, I am no longer ordinary.

Yet, we know that Jesus was an ordinary man called to do extraordinary things – 
and he did them because he believed not in himself but in God, in love, in his purpose – 
a purpose he believed came to him from God. 
Even when fulfilling that purpose was leading Jesus right to his death, he didn’t waver. 

Sure, there was a little bit of “Really? Are you sure? Is this really how you want this to end?”, 
a bit of doubt and second-guessing, 
which we all would do, 
which is to be expected when you take an ordinary person and ask extraordinary things of them.

Because what the life of Jesus says to us – 
all of us, because that’s what is so great about Jesus was that he treated everyone as equals, 
all these ordinary people were extraordinary to him – 
what his life says to us is that we all can live an extraordinary life
even if we are utterly, completely ordinary. 
Especially if we are utterly, completely ordinary.

We don’t have to respond to a crisis or be famous and wealthy
in order to use our ordinary self to do something extraordinary. 
The action you take doesn’t have to be big in order to be significant. 
Rather, it merely has to be significant to someone else
to make a difference.

So as we go through this Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday, 
let’s remember that ordinary people 
and their insignificant lives
can to do extraordinary things in the lives of others. 

You just need to slow down, to look carefully at each moment – 
that is the way to see the remarkable spiritual journey you are on,
to recognize the incredible potential you have to change lives,  
no matter how ordinary you think you are.

~ SJ


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