So trivial as those questions Patrick? Maybe not…and I enjoy people with spirit even if they call it by less flattering names!
My first thought in response is probably tangential. Don’t some of those trivial details help with meditation withing a scene, a parable, and event in the gospels! So not so trivial?
Second thought…what about the silent gospel, the one that is written in so few words, the first 30 years of the Savior’s life! Silent, yet it shouts out to us the sacredness of the ordinary life, of the daily ‘routine’. God, Son of God, came down to earth as a helpless infant who needed to be fed and changed, burped, by His Mother. And she, the woman chosen out of all humankind to be mother of God’s Son, cooked and cleaned, washed clothes, went to market, drew water from the well. Thirty years! A testimony of the sacredness of daily life well-lived, unobtrusively, with challenges and uncertainties (she pondered).
In this spirit, I once wrote:
The Gospel way
Jesus and Mary, you lived with Joseph in holy ordinariness, loving others as yourselves and God above all. You lived in prayer and penance, in wondering and in faith, in obedience and chastity. You lived in daily labour offered to God in simplicity and love. Please guide me along this gospel path, so that the God delights in my life and finds it a useful tool to bring closer the coming of the kingdom.
I thank God for the “ordinary” yet precious gifts I have received…of Creation and redemption…of persons whom I cherish…of my life, personality and individual identity…of my soul, mind, and body…of the little treasures God has given me for His delight and for others’ benefit.
I desire to love God above all and others with God’s love. I confess my sinfulness, accepting forgiveness and grace, knowing that God is my strength and virtue. I can only serve in faith and faithfulness as you did, knowing that God loves me in my lowliness.
Jesus and Mary, please unite me with you in loving, prayerful service. Through God’s merciful love and your merits, I offer each moment of my life in its ordinariness. Please make me worthy of your kinship, so that I honour God while serving others, even if the effects are hidden from me. For in my trust and self-surrender, God may flood grace in living gospel through me for the sake of the kingdom.
I praise and thank God, who stoops with tender, loving humility to touch, transform, and share His life, His Son, His Spirit of love and truth, with anyone as ordinary as I am!
And another time:
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, despite the discouragement that sometimes accompanies them.
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, unrecognized 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 emphasizes 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, in the desert 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 and holiness!
Do you wish you hadn’t asked, Patrick!