The Calling of a Hidden Life

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Readings for Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Saints for Today

“Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!” Mark 6:2

The people who knew Jesus from His youth were suddenly astonished at His wisdom and mighty deeds. They were amazed at all He said and did. They were familiar with Him as He grew up, knew His parents and other relatives, and as a result had a hard time understanding how this neighbor of theirs was suddenly so impressive in His words and deeds.

One thing this reveals is that while Jesus grew up, He apparently lived a very hidden life. It’s clear that the people of His own town were unaware of the fact that He was someone special. This is clear because once Jesus began His public ministry of preaching and performing mighty deeds, the people of His own town were confused and even astonished. They never expected all of “this” from Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, it’s clear that during His first thirty-three years, He lived a normal and ordinary daily life.

What can we take from this insight? First, it reveals that, at times, God’s will for us is to live a very “normal” and ordinary life. It’s easy to think that we should be doing “great” things for God. Yes, that’s true. But the great things He calls us to are at times simply living normal daily life well. There is no doubt that during Jesus’ hidden life He lived a life of perfect virtue. But many in His own town did not recognize this virtue. It was not yet the will of the Father that His virtue be made manifest for all to see.

Secondly, we see that there was indeed a time when His mission changed. The will of the Father, at one moment in His life, was that He suddenly be cast into the public eye. And when this happened, people noticed.

These same realities are true for us. Most are called to live day in and day out in a somewhat hidden way. Know that these are the moments when you are called to grow in virtue, do small hidden things well, and enjoy the quiet rhythm of ordinary living. But we should also be aware of the possibility that God may, from time to time, call us to step out of our comfort zone and act in a more public way. The key is to be ready and attentive to His will and plan for you. Be ready and willing to let Him use you in a new way if it be His divine will.

Reflect, today, upon the will of God for your life right now. What is it He wants of you? Is He calling you out of your comfort zone to live a more public life? Or is He calling you, at this time, to live a more hidden life while you grow in virtue. Be grateful for whatever His will is for you and embrace it with your whole heart.

Lord, I thank You for Your perfect plan for my life. I thank You for the many ways that call me to serve You. Help me to always be open to Your will and to daily say “Yes” to You no matter what You ask. Jesus, I trust in You.


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