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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

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1 Samuel 1:9-20
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Mark 1:21-28

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ordinary and new

"A completely new teaching..." —Mark 1:27

We begin the portion of the Church year called "Ordinary Time," which means "ordered time" rather than "humdrum time." Today's eucharistic readings proclaim that "ordinary" life in the Lord is new, exciting, and fulfilling. For example, the citizens of Capernaum were "amazed" at Jesus and His "completely new teaching in a spirit of authority" (Mk 1:27). In today's first reading, Hannah and Elkanah could not conceive a child; now they rejoiced (1 Sm 2:1ff) at the new life she conceived (1 Sm 1:20).

Perhaps you've suffered through a long, dry spell, and this year looks like more of the same. However, this ordinary time is a time for a new beginning, a fresh start. The Lord declares: "Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new!" (Is 43:18-19)

God is the Creator, and He is always creating anew. The Spirit renews, that is, makes new, the earth (Ps 104:30). Be open to God's "completely new" works this year in your parenting, marriage, childbearing, couple or family prayer, vocation, job performance, personal holiness, Christian community, evangelization, studies, etc. This is the year to step out in faith and live "the radical newness of" our Baptism (Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 10).

Jesus says: "See, I make all things new!" (Rv 21:5) Accept Jesus as Lord of your life and be "a new creation" in Him (2 Cor 5:17). "All that matters is that one is created anew" (Gal 6:15).

Prayer:  Father, I "lay aside" my old way of life and my "old self," and "put on that new" self You give me (Eph 4:22, 24).

Promise:  "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him." —1 Sm 1:17

Praise:  Becoming a godparent inspired Thomas to "something new" by becoming a more exemplary Christian.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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