The Spirituality of Daily life

10-06-2019Weekly ReflectionFather Prince Raja

The Liturgy of the Word on this 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time invites us to reflect on the sacredness ofour daily lives. It calls us to find God in our faithfulness to daily duties. The readings invite us to live by faith.

The first reading is from Prophet Habakkuk (1:2-3; 2:2-4). This book was written during a very difficulttime in the history of Israel(7th Cent BC), just before the Babylonian Exile (598 BC). One of the central themesin this book of Habakkuk can be summarized in the lines that we heard read in the first reading of today: “Theupright man (the just) will live by his faithfulness” (Hab 2:4). And in the gospel today, Jesus suggests that wecan merit the Kingdom of God by the fulfillment of our ordinary, daily duties done with a little faith, even if thatfaith is only as big as a mustard seed. It is faith that converts ordinary things of daily life into extraordinarysigns of the Kingdom of God. Jesus says, “When you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We aremerely servants: we have done no more than our duty” (Lk 17:10).

The Spirituality of Daily Life

In the context of the word of God this Sunday I would like to invite you to reflect on the spirituality ofdaily life, or the spirituality of ordinary things. This spirituality of daily life was lived out in an exemplarymanner by St John Bosco (1815-1888), who lived in Turinin the 19th Century. He also passed on this simplespirituality to his boys, for whom he gave his life. A story is told of St Dominic Savio (1842-1857) who was thestudent of St John Bosco. When he entered the home run by Don Bosco (which was called the Oratory), thelittle Dominic Savio wanted to become a saint. Initially he thought, one became a saint through asceticism andpenance. So Dominic used to put stones on his bed and sleep on them. When St John Bosco came to discoverthis, he gently told him: “Dominic, in my school becoming a saint is very simple. Sanctity consists in fulfillingyour daily duties.” The young Dominic Savio began to cheer up, and indeed he did become a saint.

The gospel text of today begins with the request of the apostles to Jesus: “Increase our faith.” And Jesusreplies, “If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted inthe sea’, and it would obey you” (Lk 17:5-6). Often people quote these lines implying that if you had enoughfaith you could perform a show of miracles. This could well be the case. However, in the lines that follow (Lk17:7-10) Jesus seems to imply something else. He talks about the fulfillment of duties. So, is Jesus saying, if wehad faith like a mustard seed our ordinary activities of daily life could become extraordinary? I tend to thinkso. I would like to conclude this reflection with the words of St Paul to the Corinthians. These words add themost important aspect to the spirituality of daily life: “And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate allmysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains – if I am without love, Iam nothing” (1Cor 13:2). Yes, love moves mountains in our daily lives. It lightens up our duties.