Imitation of Christ in the Hidden Life
Ordinary Actions in an Extraordinary Way

We human beings are always afraid of being ignored and overlooked. We do not want to go by unseen and unnoticed. How many times we easily make ourselves into proud peacocks!

However, our Divine Savior did not fear to remain unrecognized for most of His life. Bethlehem, he is unknown to all, except to only a few shepherds and Kings from afar. Exiled as a young child in the foreign land of Egypt, hidden for more than 25 years in the workshop of Nazareth, Christ was unknown and unrecognizable for Whom He truly was, even as He lay dying upon the Cross. It is not recognition in the eyes of the world which really counts. However, what really matters is how we truly are in the eyes of God.

The Hidden Life of Christ our King

Our Infant King grew up during long years of obscurity in Nazareth, where He was known to everyone simply as "the carpenter's son". The Gospel tells us that the hidden life of Jesus Christ is a perfect model of obedience for us: "He was subject to them."

The God of all created things, almighty and infinite, was subject to two poor and unknown mortals, Mary and Joseph. He obeyed them in all things, promptly, constantly, cheerfully, and with great love. He did ordinary actions in an extraordinary way.

His Lessons for Us

The actions of Jesus are examples which teach us as much as His words. Our Infant King possessed all wisdom and grace from the first moment of His mortal life. However, He chose to reveal His true greatness only gradually in a manner appropriate for His young years.

That’s a good lesson for we who impulsively want to announce to everyone all that we know. If Christ the Son of God Himself, was content to be humble, poor, and unknown, if He was satisfied to do common tasks day by day for the greater part of His earthly life, is there any reason why we should try to exalt ourselves, to attract admiration, to feed our vanity?

We can obtain much merit in the eyes of God without doing any flamboyant actions. Humble and obedient acts cheerfully done according to our place in life are greatly pleasing to God. Do ordinary actions in an extraordinary way!

The vain heart is always restless and agitated in its greed for self-advancement. The simplicity of a humble heart brings peace of soul.

During His 30 years of hidden life, our Infant King teaches us to learn holiness and wisdom before we presume to teach others. By His hidden life, Our Lord teaches us to live day after day without impatience or complaint. "Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart," He said. Imitating the virtues of His hidden life will bring us the holiness, the happiness, and the peace which we so desire. Do ordinary actions in an extraordinary way!

Living the Virtues of the Hidden Life: a Lenten Resolution in the footsteps of Jesus

The Lenten season which we are about to enter commemorates another episode in the Hidden Life of Christ. The forty days of Lent commemorate the forty days which Jesus fasted alone in the desert in preparation for his three years of public ministry. This Lent we shall truly imitate Christ, and we shall truly make spiritual progress on the road to Heaven, if our thoughts, words, and actions seek to be pleasing to the eyes of God rather than to our own eyes or to the eyes of others.

Again and again in the Gospels of Lent, Jesus recommends the hidden life. He says that we should offer up your alms in secret. We should fast and pray, so that our good works will be seen only by our Heavenly Father.

During Lent, let us learn to love the hidden life, as Jesus taught us. Let’s not be so quick to talk about ourselves, but rather, let’s be prompt in talking to God in prayer. Be prompt in attending to the needs which our neighbor makes known to us.

Let us spend less time looking in the mirror and more time looking at the image of God present in our neighbor. Let’s not seek out flamboyant deeds or penances. However, let us renew our fervor to perform our everyday duties consistently with a little extra cheerfulness and attention to detail for the love of God and neighbor.

Do ordinary actions in an extraordinary way!

Let us ask our Infant King to open up the eyes of our soul to the great supernatural value of everyday actions done with love of God and neighbor.

Then, by his grace, we may be made worthy one day to see the full vision of His divine beauty in that heavenly world which is to come.

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