Today my parents have been married for 61 years! My parents serve as great example of married love; committed to each other, their family, and their faith. What makes them stand out isn’t their attendance at daily mass or their rich prayer lives. While important, the thing that makes my parents marriage so special, stems from the somewhat ordinary way they have approached their union. They have known how important it is to connect and for more years than I can count they sit down together every day at 3 and pray (usually a rosary) and then talk while Mom has her daily Diet Pepsi and Dad his one beer. I can vividly remember growing up and trying to make out their conversations as they held long talks while they laid in bed before falling asleep. Last year, on their 60th, they shunned the notion of a big party in lieu of a nice dinner and Mass with their children. How appropriate are today’s readings for my parents’ anniversary!
In the first reading Jesus is reminding us that we need to celebrate, mark important and sacred events. We are being asked to do this because in doing so it causes us to stop and take pause. When we commemorate Jesus’ life through attending weekly Mass and on holy days we are publicly acknowledging and investing in our relationship with God. Just as my parents have made a habit of connecting to each other we must do the same with God.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’s ordinariness confused people and they could not believe in him. His familiarity made them ignore him. How could he be so special when he was right here all along? How often in our lives do we look for the razzle, dazzle, the new, the exciting, the different? What Jesus is calling us to do is be like Saint Ignatius and find God in all things. God is right next to us, in our partner of 61 years, and it is through the ordinary day to day living, through the familiar, that we find His love and our footing.