Jesus and ordinary life
Jesus, God and man, for most of Your life You lived amongst us in unobtrusive labour. Through Your witness, we are encouraged to value the mundane tasks and events that dominate our lives.
Let us not overlook the value and message of the silent gospel of Your years of ‘ordinary’ service, overshadowed as they are by the drama of those last three years. It is surely a powerful silent witness that You, God incarnate, spent thirty years apparently ‘marking time’ in ordinary activity…as helpless infant…as refugee…as child of a poor family…as village tradesman. Thus is the ordinary, unrecognised and unrecorded routine of our daily lives elevated and sanctified while yet in obscurity, when it is lived in accordance with divine will.
In response to Your quiet example and Your inspired Word, we desire grace to live and work lovingly amongst others, obeying Your will as expressed in our vocations and our individual natures. The brief account of Your infancy and childhood emphasises this lesson. Although at twelve You revealed Your unique nature, You returned to humble daily activity.
We observe Your favoured human Mother, in her option to reject or cooperate with divine will for her life. Her acceptance carried with it some treasured secrets, but largely the ordinary life of human motherhood and home duties commonplace in the lives of multitudes of women throughout the centuries. Surely, her faith and hope were frequently tested in remembrance of divine promise in the face of ‘ordinary’ realities. Ultimately, however, her choice led to mental and emotional martyrdom.
Jesus, along with every human, You faced the choice to employ or misuse, the life, the gifts, and the trust reposed in You. You could embrace or refuse the alluring, deceptive temptations of the devil—gaudy and dramatic with ambition, sensuality and worldliness. Rejecting these temptations, You remained faithful to the God’s will, despite hardship, disappointment and sorrow.
Following almost thirty years of humble obscurity, You began public ministry, openly teaching and exemplifying the truths of the eternal Father, and fulfilling the covenant. Even as You took up Your divine ministry, You remained loving, obedient, wise and trusting.
You accepted the realities of Your humanity, not vicariously, but fully, sacrificing this humanity in the culmination of every human deprivation and suffering. Your entire being became ‘a living wound’. [Isaiah] Following annihilation in Your humanity, You resurrected, to consummate Your defeat of sin and death for humankind.
You are witness that each person must accept divine will in the realities and actualities of our personal existences as we follow You our Way to life. Jesus, grant us to shoulder our daily cross lovingly, cheerfully and creatively, regardless of how arduous or ineffectual our lives may seem to ourselves.
Grant us to bear our cross, in ordinary times and in crises, with perseverance, hope and peace, so that You may use us to open heaven to others who live within our influence. Thank You, Jesus, key of our salvation!