THROUGH THE DULL AND THE BORING

The following reflection is based on John 21:1-19.

In our Gospel story today, Jesus does something extraordinarily ordinary: He cooks!

image

I had never done any cooking in my life until a couple of years ago when I was studying in London. My new Superior then told me in no uncertain terms that I should, like every member of our community, take my turn to do the cooking for Sunday dinner.

When I protested that I could only scramble eggs, he dismissed my concern with a wave of his hand. When I suggested ordering pizza, he just walked away.

Even if my turn was still about three weeks away, I started making a list of people who could help me–not just friends who were trained professional chefs (I had a number of them), but also those who have become experts in the kitchen from all their cooking for their own families (I had a lot of those too).

Just the same I anticipated my turn to cook for that community with dread. You see, for Sunday dinner, we were expected to prepare not just any meal, but one that included a starter, a main entree, veggies, some carbs, and a dessert. In my book, that’s an entire production number too overwhelming for a newbie in the kitchen like myself.

To top it all, there were ten members in the community, and except for two Brits, the others came from different cultures and understandably had different culinary tastes. Finally, based on the quick, informal research I conducted, everyone else knew how to cook!

By the time my assigned Sunday arrived, I had finalized my menu and purchased every single ingredient I needed. I started at 1 pm just to make sure that I would finish in time for the 7 pm dinner.

Three hours later, I was still consulting YouTube clips and chopping onions. It was then that I saw–through my tears–the significance of what I was doing. I wasn’t just fulfilling a somewhat unwelcome obligation. I was doing things I had never done before: I had never chopped onions before; I had never cried because of onions; and I had never even held a kitchen knife before (at least not for its intended purpose). I was actually preparing food for people! It was an activity that the Risen Lord did, one in which I had never shared before that day.

When you think about it, there are a million and one other more appropriately important and glamorous things that one who has just risen from the dead can do. But here he chooses to make breakfast for his friends!

It’s not really surprising when we realize that the first thing the Risen Christ did was just as mundane and ordinary as cooking. And what was the first thing he did when he got up that first Easter morning? Why, he made his bed! He neatly folded the shroud and linens, as Peter and John observed when they stepped into the empty tomb.

How wonderful that Easter unfolds in the dullest and most ordinary of our activities and events! The Risen Lord is present and can be found even in the most mundane moments of our lives. We need not wait until we achieve something outstanding. We need not hold our breath for an extraordinary event to transpire in our lives. The Risen Lord walks with us and watches us every single moment, his nearness certainly most deeply experienced in the joyful and the painful, but no less enduring in the dull and the boring. Such is the presence of the Risen Lord in our lives: quiet and often unrecognized, but constant and real.

We must never tire of seeking him in all things!

PS: That first dinner was a hit, and now, two years and many cooked meals later, I am considered a pretty good cook–if I may say so myself. :)

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

11 thoughts on “THROUGH THE DULL AND THE BORING”

  1. Maramimg salamat Padre!

    It is true, I have been experiencing God’s hands thru strangers in mundane things as getting a ride in Cubao on rush hours! I have been trying to “Finding God in All Things” thru (5-ways-to-find-god-in-all-things#sthash.fol8P4AJ.dpuf)

  2. When you come back, be ready for a spate of invitations to share your culinary skills. And I thought those two angels at the tomb were there to make the bed! Thanks for reminding us that our Risen Lord is always with each of us, as he promised. It’s just that sometimes it’s difficult to recognize him in some persons who aren’t always lovable… Will keep trying, because he asks me to find him there and because that’s what pleases him.

  3. That is right, bitin the story. How did the dinner go?
    It reminded me of my first days as a wife. The only
    thing I knew was to boil eggs and my mother in-law
    who was a super cook lived next door.

  4. So, Father, how did your dinner go? I’m curious. Jesus must have chuckled watching you fumbling your way away! ????

  5. More often than not the world is too noisy to hear God’s voice. On top of that there are a lot of emotional turmoils that poisons our inner being eventually losing grip of our God. The master waves of shame shook us from the deepest battle within our hearts but God still pursues us and He is using other people, events or situations to remind us ,”Hey! Be still , I am here. Let me fight your battle. Take some rest.” In everything we do Jesus is there, we just have to give up and surrender to Him.

  6. Dear Fr Johnny
    You show us a singular paradox: the presence of God on our side that seems us in itself an exceptional, extraordinary event which would occur only when we are living great joys and great sorrows, is done daily. “He walks with us and watching us at every moment, quiet and often unrecognized, but constant and real” you said.
    Too often we forget that our ordinary acts and gestures we make at the service to the community are also a way to pray to God and strengthen our faith

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.