Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Hidden Life of Jesus

1. It is an amazing thought that Jesus, the eternal Wisdom of the Father, should have chosen to live quietly for thirty years in a carpenter's workshop along with his supposed father Joseph. He could have confounded the philosophers of Greece and Rome with His infinite wisdom. He could have attracted crowds by His miracles and drawn the attention of the whole world. But He preferred silence and a busy hidden life. Why? Because men needed to learn one thing before anything else. It was a simple thing, but difficult to practise. It was humility they needed to learn, for humility was to be the foundation of the giant structure which He had come to raise up and whose spire was to reach to Heaven. If this edifice, the Church, was to be so high, its foundation would have to be very deep. Let us learn this lesson of humility and silence from the hidden life of Jesus.

The tendency in modern times even in regard to spiritual projects, is to try and draw attention and admiration. Perhaps this is why these projects are so often unsuccessful. Like the seed thrown by the sower upon the hard ground, they wither away because they have no moisture (Cf. Luke 8:6). Without humility a great deal of noise can be made, but nothing supernatural is achieved. The first lesson we must learn from Jesus is the silence and recollection of the interior life.

2. Jesus chose to be an ordinary workman. He had power over the angels of Heaven, over the sun and stars of the firmament, over the waves of the ocean and over all the elements. By a single act of His divine will He could multiply loaves and change water into wine. Yet He elected to earn His living by the sweat of His brow. In His times the artisan was held in low esteem and was very often a slave. Manual labor was regarded as sordid and undignified. Christ wished to sanctify manual work by His own toil. He wished to teach men that in the eyes of God the hoe is as valuable as the pen. There is no difference between driving a plough and wielding a sceptre as long as a man is fulfilling his duty for the love of God. The only thing in this regard which is displeasing to God is laziness and inactivity. Anyone who leads an idle life at the expense of others is breaking God's law, which commands everybody to work. Let us follow the example of Jesus the worker. Let us avoid idleness, which is the father of vices and is opposed to the command of God (Cf. Gen. 3:19; 2 Thess. 3:10). Let nobody claim that there is no need for him to work because he has enough money to last him all his life. There was far less need for Jesus to work in order to live, yet He chose to work as an ordinary labourer. If we do not have to work for our own sakes, let us reflect on how much need there is for us to work for others and for the glory of God. If justice does not compel us, charity does. It makes very little difference whether a man goes to hell for lack of justice or for lack of charity.

3. There are many who complain that their work is degrading or heavy or unsatisfying. This is an indication that they are working for themselves rather than for God. We should sanctify our work by prayer. We should meditate on the example of Jesus and remember that there are many sins for which we must make reparation. If we offer our work to God, it will not only become meritorious, but much easier. To work purely for profit is avarice, to work for the good opinion and praise of others is vanity; and to work in order to pass the time is a waste of time. The perfect Christian approach to work in order to do our duty, to please God, to atone for our sins and to gain Heaven.


オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Is this the whole book? Please, continue with the translation if it is not. Thanks for your work.

Mark said...

Ditto. These meditations have been extremely helpful. Hope you pick them up again!

Anonymous said...

I will do my best.


Anonymous said...