Saving the mundane and temporal
January 26, 2020 - Sunday 4:01 AM by Fr. Roy Cimagala
We have to understand that our mundane and temporal
affairs are no obstacle in our relationship with God and with others.
They should not be. In fact, for most people, these matters and
affairs are the very occasion, material and motive for developing the
love for God and for others, and thus, they also serve as the means
for their own sanctification.
While we have to take utmost care in carrying out our
sacred duties of praying, offering sacrifices, having recourse to the
sacraments, availing of the spiritual means of formation, etc., we
should not forget that our ordinary secular duties and
responsibilities play an important role in our spiritual life.
It’s in these latter duties that most people have their
usual encounter with Christ. It’s in them that most people have the
opportunity to correspond to God’s continuing work of creation and
redemption on them.
The basis for this assertion could be the fact that in the
life of Christ, our Redeemer, his hidden life that was spent in doing
the ordinary work of a citizen in a community is as important and is
as redemptive as his public life that was spent going around
preaching, performing miracles and ultimately going through his
passion, death and resurrection.
In that episode of the boy Jesus who at 12 years of age
went with his parents in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, we can have a good
inkling of how his hidden life was also redemptive in character. (cfr.
He was lost for some days and his parents looked for him
earnestly. When finally he was found in the temple, Our Lady said to
him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have
been anxiously searching for you.” To which, the boy Jesus responded:
“Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my
We can have several interpretations of these words of the
boy Jesus, but my take is that he wanted to tell his parents that even
in his hidden life spent in doing ordinary things, he was doing the
things his Father God sent him for, that is, to redeem us.
The episode ended with the boy going back home with his
parents and was subject and obedient to them, and he grew “in wisdom
and stature, and in favor of God and man.”
I can only draw from this episode the conclusion that the
boy Jesus wants to show us that the ordinary things he had to do while
being subject to Mary and Joseph were an integral part of his mission
of redeeming us.
We really have to look at the usual and ordinary things we
handle everyday, our mundane and temporal affairs, more from the point
of view of faith rather than just from the point of view of our
reason, our common sense, our practical needs.
We need to save our mundane and temporal affairs from the
clutches of simply being treated in a completely technical and
practical way. We have to learn to see God there. We need to learn to
see how his continuing providence over us is working through those
usual ordinary things that we do everyday.
Definitely, we need to pause and study how we can train
our mind and heart, our senses and all other faculties we have to
perceive the spiritual and supernatural dimension of the ordinary
things we do everyday and of all our mundane and temporal affairs.
This, of course, will require nothing less than
cultivating and growing in our faith, hope and charity which are the
main nourishing elements to develop our spiritual life and to acquire
that skill in seeing God and his providence in everything that we do
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