Nine Days to Christ the King: Day 2

Meditation Day 2: Christ, Our Hidden King

“He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced (in) wisdom and age and favor before God and man” (Luke 2:51-52).

REFLECTION

The silence and humility of Jesus’s reign from the manger was not an anomaly, an isolated moment on his path to more notable greatness. In fact, as we know, after his humble birth, Our Lord spent the next thirty years of his life–the overwhelming majority of his years on earth–in the silence of what we refer to as his hidden life.

Obedience. Silence. A hidden, ordinary life. Not precisely qualities one would expect to describe the life of a king. 

Yet, in the midst of this hidden life, Jesus Our King reigned. His love reigned in his tender, simple gestures of kindness toward his mother and foster father. His humility reigned in his gentle submission to the direction and guidance of his parents, who, after all, were mere human beings entrusted with the upbringing of the very Son of God. His filial piety reigned through his simple gestures of worship offered to his heavenly Father.

If you or I were to plan the redemption of the world in a period of thirty-three years, we would most certainly never even consider spending thirty years of it on a simple, unremarkable, ordinary life. Yet God’s ways, time and again, are not our ways. Could it be that God chose to save the world through child’s play, synagogue learning, and an apprenticeship in carpentry?

Through his hidden life, Our Lord taught us through a silence louder than words that his kingdom does not come about primarily through loud, great deeds and extraordinary events. His kingdom is extended here on earth through the smallest acts of love, the most insignificant moments of fidelity to ordinary obligations and tasks.

From his ordinary throne in Nazareth, Christ the King invites me to reflect on how I can participate in the building of his kingdom through my own ordinary, seemingly insignificant life. In every act of selfless love toward my spouse, my children, my parents, or a family member in need, Christ reigns. In every humble response to a frustrating coworker, Christ reigns. In every effort to do my daily duty with a little extra love, Christ reigns.

Often, even without realizing it, we can believe deep down that the “small stuff” doesn’t matter much to God. We can come to assume that for our love to be truly valued in God’s eyes, it must be shown in big, heroic acts. Yet, Jesus chose to love his Father and save humanity through thirty years of small offerings of love. He delights in the smallest gifts of love offered by each one of us, just as a mother’s heart is filled to the brim by the smallest flower or most unintelligible drawing given to her by one of her children. 

As we prepare for the feast of Christ the King, let us take some time to reflect on how we can invite Jesus to reign in the most ordinary aspects of our lives:

  • What are some of the ordinary, even trying, tasks of my day to day life that I can offer to God, more consciously uniting myself to Jesus who glorified his Father and won grace for us through his hidden life?
  • Is there a “little extra” detail of love that I can add to the simple tasks I already do to transform them from routine chores into an offering of love?
  • Is it possible that I give more importance to the things I do that seem more significant and end up depreciating the little things and doing them only begrudgingly? Am I missing opportunities to love Christ and build his kingdom through the small and ordinary?

PRAYER

Christ, my hidden King, so often I fail to recognize you in the ordinary and mundane aspects of my day to day life. Through your reign from the throne of ordinary human life, teach me to transform the most insignificant details of my own daily life into an offering of love. Come and reign in my heart through my small, stumbling efforts to love each day. 

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart more like yours.

 

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The Kingdom without End:
A Retreat Guide on Christ the King

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