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The Sheepy Smell of God
WE FIND OURSELVES AMID “ordinary time.” Most of the liturgical calendar, like our lives, is comprised of ordinary time. Yet our readings this month remind us that the extraordinary can be found in the ordinary, just as God can be found in us. Each of the gospels this month shows us Jesus growing more into his ministry as well as his identity as the Christ. Like us, he is not always comfortable with who he is. We see him: questioning who touched and was healed by his cloak (Mark 5:21-43); rejected by his hometown (Mark 6:1-6); said to be a prophet raised from the dead (Mark 6:14-29); acting like a good shepherd (Mark 6:30-34); retreating after feeding the 5,000 because he does not want to be forced into being king (John 6:1-21).
Even amid miracles and messianic titles, there is an ordinariness about Jesus in these stories. We glimpse a familiar narrative of the suffering and joy found in following God’s call. For some, this interpretation may be too much of a “Christology from below,” too little emphasis on Jesus as divine. Yet the gift of ordinary time reminds us that what we deem too quotidian, too human, might reveal God to us after all.