Saturday, May 10, 2014

Make your bed?

In the first reading today we have two miracles the healing of a paralyzed man and the raising of a woman from the dead. Once more Luke, the author of the gospel and the Acts of the Aposltes, pairs a story of a man and a woman underscoring their equality in the kingdom of God. While we're getting all caught up in the miracles we can overlook the details.

When Peter heals the paralyzed man he says
Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.

Sounds like my mother in the mornings before school. I never realized all those years she was quoting the Bible. Neither did she.

We tend in life to look to God for the extraordinary. We pray for the miraculous healing. We turn to God when we are in trouble. We think of ministry as what we do in church. Peter reminds us today that being a disciple means doing everything with Christ, even the most mundane task: making the bed, washing dishes, taking out the trash can all be transformed into moments of grace.

If someone were to ask what is the primary distinction between clergy and laity, the simple answer would be the location of their ministry. As a priest my ministry is primarily in Church, preaching and celebrating sacraments. For laity, ministry is primarily whatever you do in the world. In Lumen Gentium chapter 4 on the laity, the Second Vatican council proclaimed:

But the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven. They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven.

The mundane is ministry. It can all be a part of our pray, if we do it consciously, deliberately in Christ.