The Ordinary Things
There’s something very ordinary for a fisherman about washing nets. Daily work, done with some drudgery but knowing that it is essential for a good catch of fish which would feed the family. At this time Jesus called his first apostles.
There is something sacred about the ordinary. About bathing a child, loving a spouse, daily employment, family time and all that goes to make up our days.
In the middle of all this God can surprise us and call us into his service. Our expectation is sometimes different – that we need long times of prayer to find God, or read about him, or do big things for him just as the smallest things are done out of human love, God is found in the ordinary.
The old Irish spirituality had blessings for everything – for milking a cow, cleaning and dusting a room, visiting the sick and many more. There were prayers for meals, for a safe journey and a happy death. Our Irish spirituality found God as much in mountains and people as in the church, and often more so.
Maybe the disciples remember in difficult times the way they were called in their ordinary work, and found their ongoing call to follow the Lord in the ordinary of their lives, for the rest of their lives.
Give me O Lord a love for the ordinary;
remind me often how ‘ordinary’ you were for so much of your life. Amen.
Donal Neary SJ