We went to Mexico. And it rocked. Super duper thanks to my mom for such a great Christmas gift! I didn’t realise how much I’d enjoy receiving sun in the middle of winter. It was fantabulous! If you’re on facebook, you may have seen some of the photos, I’ll be posting a few in a new gallery on our site as well.
Happy New Year! I hope you’re all sticking to your resolutions. Unless you didn’t make any, in which case, kudos to you! …Which is really a kudos to me, cause I didn’t make any. Hoopla and that kind of thing. Blah.
We’ve been busy apart from that. While on our lovely vacation, and while in a supermarket, Andy (yes, dear, I AM blaming you) steered us down an aisle to see what kind of non-stick pans they were selling there. I can only describe what happened next as a dream-like state. We started down this aisle, and I saw the pans he was talking about, and then it was like cherubs and seraphs were glowing and playing little flutes and harps just a little further down the aisle….cue the ‘aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh’ background music and I drifted into my little piece of heaven. There it was: a 36 quart stock pot. And oh my goodness, if that wasn’t enough, price: $23.00. I could hardly do more than stare longingly, drool forming and threatening eruption.
To give a little background, I’ve been searching for a good sized stock pot since last summer. The closest we could find, without paying over about $100, was a 16 quart for about $20. Measly little thing compared to this puppy. So my souvenir from Mexico is a 36 quart stock pot that became our final checked piece of luggage. And when we got home, I made stock.
My recent thing has been making fresh soups every week. This includes making the stock from scratch (something I love doing), so I now have a freezer full of chicken stock, and a freezer full of beef bones to make a beef stock next week. Last week I made a hamburger lentil soup, this week I’ve made a broccoli soup and I’m planning to make a Kielbasa soup either tomorrow or Friday. I love homemade soups, they’re so good, and so healthy, and now that I have a 36 quart stock pot, they’re so easy!
And lastly, to continue with my attempts at doing a reflection on one of the weekend readings, here is one for the next week.
Second Reading, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 1: 26-31
Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
OK, so this isn’t the Gospel reading for this week, but I definitely have a preference for this reading (perhaps something that I should meditate on…).
I love the call to humility in this passage. I love how Paul is telling these people he knows, ‘You’re not wise, you’re not powerful, but you are foolish and weak…and that’s awesome!’ I find that these words are a huge challenge for me. I am constantly trying to see myself in a better light, but Paul calls us to look at our vulnerabilities, to really accept them as they are. It is precisely in our weakness that God shines, and why is that? I’d argue that our weaknesses, the places where we are most insecure, are where we must rely on God, thus allowing God the freedom to move within us.
It sounds so perfect to say it like that, and even as I look what I wrote I think, yeah, OK, but how am I supposed to get along in my life if I’m constantly focusing on all the things I’m not good at? And besides which, don’t I have gifts and talents God gave me that are strengths as well? And *poof*, just like that, it becomes a convoluted tension. It’s not just one way or the other. That’s the beauty and the struggle of it. How do we remain vulnerable in our strengths? What does that mean?
The underlying truth of the matter is exactly as Paul puts it: God chose what is foolish; God chose what is weak; God chose what is low and despised. The Old Testament testifies this. The Gospels testify this. The Letters testify this. Two pillars of our faith had wretched moments: Peter, denying Jesus. Paul, persecuting Jesus. Yet out of these foolish and low the glory of God shines. Perhaps not in those exact moments, but without those moments, we have no way of truly presenting ourselves humbly before God, asking for pardon and asking to be transformed.