Aleteia

The connection between Ordinary Time and Jesus’ unknown years

JESUS' UNKNOWN YEARS
Share

The ordinariness of Jesus’ childhood, adolescence and young adulthood provide ample material for meditation.

For many of us, Ordinary Time can feel “ordinary,” and not particularly special. While we thoroughly enjoy the beautiful seasons of Easter and Christmas, Ordinary Time does not elicit the same feelings.

As a result, Ordinary Time is often overlooked and not given its chance to shine.

However, this time of the Church’s year has great potential and can give us a profound insight into our own lives.

One topic for meditation during this season is to focus on the “unknown years” of Jesus’ life. The Gospel accounts focus almost exclusively on the final 3 years of Jesus’ ministry and give us hardly any details of his first 30 years.

The Church has pointed to these hidden years and the connection it has to our “ordinary” life.

During the greater part of his life Jesus shared the condition of the vast majority of human beings: a daily life spent without evident greatness, a life of manual labor. (CCC 531)

The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life. (CCC 533)

In this way Jesus sanctified “ordinary” life, showing us that the Kingdom of God is accessible to everyone, no matter their situation.

The key is to realize that your life can be made holy by inviting God into it. Even the most mundane tasks can be turned into a beautiful offering to God.

St. Therese of Lisieux was an expert at this “little way” of holiness. She wrote in her Story of a Soul, “Above all I endeavored to practice little hidden acts of virtue; thus I took pleasure in folding the mantles forgotten by the Sisters, and I sought for every possible occasion of helping them.”

In this way an ordinary task can be turned into an opportunity of extraordinary love.

If you are looking for something to meditate on during Ordinary Time, ponder the hidden years of Jesus, his sanctification of the ordinary, and how you can transform every aspect of your life into a sacrifice to God.