How’s Your Day?
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

Each one of us can point to a typical day in our life. A housewife describes her typical day as waking up at five in the morning, preparing breakfast, sending off the children and the husband, cleaning the house, going to the market, preparing lunch, watching the noontime television show, talking with the neighbors, waiting for the children and husband to arrive, preparing supper, watching the popular TV drama and sleep. The husband’s day differs. Wake up, eat breakfast, rush to work, eat lunch, more work, off from work, spend some time talking with office mates, back home, watch the shows with the wife and children, then sleep.

In some families, the husband or the wife may manage to go to an early morning mass. There are even some families that manage to turn off the television for a family rosary and for some study time for the children. In farming communities, the day begins earlier as the farmers try to take advantage of the cooler hours of the morning to do their work. In urban settings, some people’s working day begins in the evening and ends in the morning.

Action starter: Amare est servire (To love is to serve).

How do we find our typical day? Is it as Job describes in the first reading, “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? (Jb.7:1). Are our nights restful or as Job laments, “the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn (v.5). In contrast, St. Paul sees each day as an opportunity to preach, “woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16). St. Paul is passionate about his duty to share the good news about Jesus. Each day is important. There is no time to waste.

The Gospel this Sunday illustrates a typical day in the Lord’s public life (Mk. 1:29-39). He would rise at early dawn to pray. He would then teach and cure the sick who were brought to him. He had a close circle of friends with whom he spent more time -- the brothers Peter and Andrew and James and John. The Gospel tells the story of Jesus’ visit to Peter’s house and how He cured Peter’s mother-in-law. Jesus prayed, taught, healed, visited homes, and shared time with friends. He would engage in conversation the common folks, teachers of the law, public officials, and even strangers and foreigners.

If we were to describe an ideal day for ourselves, how would it look like? At the start of the year I received some daily planners and calendars as gifts. Some are more detailed than others. Typical with me, I make may weekly and monthly schedules, and then find out I have not really followed what I wrote. Much as I would like to be very well-organized, many things come up that are not built into the calendar. Still, I try to do the more important things that I have identified.

In monastic communities and religious houses, they have an Horarium or a strict daily schedule. Sometimes, I meet some of my former students in the seminary. Even if they have not become priests, they express their appreciation for the regulated seminary life. Some would even credit their success in their professions to the discipline they learned in the seminary in terms of time management. There is time to pray, play, work, and study.

Many of us live in a more fast-paced environment. Sometimes, we are able to spend some time in the mountains or the seaside. During quieter moments, we may desire to establish a more regulated life for ourselves and our loved ones. We may want to look at our priorities and come up with a more balanced management of our time. This desire to regulate our life and put more discipline into our daily activities boil down to these essentials of spending time with God, with family, with friends, and with our work groups. Both Freud and Jung describe a meaningful life as having the essentials of love and work. When we live our lives in love and service, then life ceases to be a drudgery. Each day becomes an adventure.