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Blessing Ordinary Tasks by Recalling Jesus Did Them Too

May 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard

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Life of Christ (Week 4 of 27)

As I write this, I'm facing Mount Laundryest, the summit of which I may not see for hours given the amount of other work I need to do.

I don't really mind laundry, but we've reach the point, as a family, where the sheer volume we produce makes it never-ending.

I'm not a very good housekeeper, but up until recently, I've been able to stay on top of laundry. And dishes. That's another weak point in my homemaking quiver: the pile in the dishwasher, clean and waiting to be unloaded, and the pile near the sink, dirty and waiting to be loaded.

The cycle of these ordinary tasks and the ceaseless nature of them gets me down sometimes. “All I can get done is LAUNDRY. And DISHES. But they're! Never! Done!”, I caught myself thinking recently.

I tried to make myself grateful: for the fact that we have clothes and running water and plenty to eat and a host of other blessings, but I was rolling my eyes at myself and not so much experiencing any real gratitude.

“I have this other important work to dooooooo!”, I caught myself whining.

And then I realized, especially after reading today's selection, that in addition to being a big ungrateful whiner, I'm distancing myself from the One I should be drawing closer to, my Savior who was, for 30 invisible years, just a guy who worked around town and helped his mom.

Then, considering that Jesus did the mundane and boring, what do I have to complain about?

If there ever was a Son Who might have been expected to claim personal independence (especially after His powerful affirmation in the temple), it was He. And yet to sanctify and exemplify human obedience, and to make up for the disobedience of men, He lived under a humble roof, obedient to His parents. For eighteen uneventful years He fixed the fat roofs of Nazarene homes and mended the wagons of farmers. Every mean and lowly task was part of the Father's business. Human development of the God-man unfolded in the village so naturally that not even the townspeople were conscious of the greatness of Him Who dwelled in their midst. It was indeed a going “down” in the sense that it was a self-denial and a self-abnegation for Him to submit Himself to His own creatures. He evidently followed the trade of a carpenter, for eighteen years later, the townspeople were to ask:

Is not this the carpenter, the Son of Mary?

Mark 6:3

Justin Martyr, basing himself on tradition, says that during this time Our Lord made plows and yokes, and taught men righteousness through the products of His peaceful toil.

Chapter 2, “Nazareth,” Paragraph 2

This is a reminder I need pretty frequently. Life is full of things that, let's face it, are NOT exciting. They are, however, potentially life-changing.

As I mate socks, fold jeans, and wash loads and loads of underwear and shirts, is it possible that I'm united myself with Jesus? As I scrape ketchup and crumbs off plates and put the dishes away in a rotation that could qualify me for some sort of Olympics, could it be that I'm doing God's will?

Isn't the other work I do more important, more critical, more in line with what God wants from me?

Maybe, instead of seeing another dirty diaper as an interruption of my real work, I should consider what the real work I do is. Those kids, those family members, those people who demand from me in ways small and exhausting, they're the ones helping me on the path closer to Jesus.

And when I turn to Him, I can even see him in the midst of the laundry and dishes!

Reading Assignment:

Chapters 3-5

Discussion Questions:

1. What daily duties take over your life? How can you use them as a way to turn closer to Jesus?

2. Do you find yourself wishing you could be doing something else? This week, bless that time and give it to Jesus as a gift. Offer it as a prayer for a special intention of your heart.

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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