When I read today's Gospel I immediately thought about Sly and the Family Stone! What, you did too? Their song really captures today's lesson: I am Everyday People! The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then, makes no difference what group I'm in; I'm no better and neither are you, we are the same whatever we do. I am everyday people!
In every age and generation, it's eveyday people that do extraordinary things!
As people of faith, we are called to be everyday people, capable of extraordinary things, because we have the gift of extraordinary faith!
In today's Gospel it appears that Jesus certainly selected very ordinary everyday people. Jesus saw Simon and Andrew, brothers and then James and John, also brothers. They were fisherman; ordinary, everyday people. Jesus knew that these men, along with the others he would choose, would accomplish extraordinary things. Not because of their own accomplishments, but because they would receive the gift of extraordinary faith! These four men who we meet in this Gospel passage would not be the ones the world would pick to be leaders, they would not be the ones the world would pick to change people's lives for the better, they would not be the ones the world would pick to begin the conversion of the whole world. Common everyday people, who became extraordinary because they were called, called by Jesus, and they responded and God worked extraordinarily through them. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Today we all need this simple Gospel story to remind each and everyone of us, perhaps no more than everyday ordinary people ourselves, to use the gift of our extraordinary faith and the calling of Christ in our own lives to accomplish extraordinary things? What extraordinary things am I talking about? Let me give you an example or two.
Yesterday a busload of our own parishioners met up with hundreds and thousands of other people, despite bad weather in the morning, to march for Life in Baton Rouge. Yes, everyday people with extraordinary faith, accomplished extraordinary things by being a witness for life. And next week, in Washington DC, hundreds of thousands will again March for Life, a march comprised of everyday people accomplishing extraordinary things. And by the way, the cultural elite of the world will hardly take notice because they can't believe that ordinary everyday people of extraordinary faith can accomplish extraordinary things. But Jesus knows; he loves His everyday people!
In our parish we witness everyday people doing extraordinary things by participating in Bible Study, helping the homeless through Family Promise, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing gifts and more for children and families during the holidays and throughout the year. Our everyday people also accomplish extraordinary things by the way we pray, care and support one another. And we all know I could go on and on!
All of us, seemingly ordinary, everyday people, just like Simon and Andrew, James and John, have been called by the same Jesus Christ. He knows that we, if we cooperate with His Father's gift of grace, can do extraordinary things and be a force for good in this world. But we must make the decision to cooperate, we must make the decision to respond, we must say yes to the call and follow Him, just like Simon, Andrew, James and John.
In the week ahead can we pray with this Gospel and contemplate all the ways God, our light and our salvation, is calling us, ordinary, everyday people, to be extraordinary in loving and serving Him by loving and serving one another?
And can we all thank God today for making us an everyday people? Yeah, yeah!