So much of Jesus’s life was simple.
We don’t know a lot of details from Jesus’s childhood. But I imagine it a lot like this: a mom, a dad, and their son. Building a life together. Not a lavish or wealthy or particularly exciting one. Just three people, loving each other every day, doing what they needed to do to put food on the table, caring for their neighbors. Relaxing together. Enjoying a glass of wine or a nice meal. Acknowledging each others’ presence. Acknowledging each others’ worth. Loving one another.
We know more about Jesus’s public ministry. And we might most readily call to mind the flashy stuff. The miracles, driving out demons, healing the sick and infirm. But most of His life in public ministry was pretty simple as well. He and his friends spent hours upon hours together, living off the land and generosity of others, traveling from place to place. Talking. Having great conversations, I imagine. Stopping to rest together. Unwinding together after long days around lots of people. Sharing inside jokes. Just being together.
And if it’s true that Jesus came not only to die for us, but also to teach us how to live, why do we forget the simplest lessons? Why do we focus so much on trying to make things bigger and better and more exciting all the time? Why are we so fixated on our problems and pursuits and rarely captivated by the simple things? A warm cup of coffee in the morning. A beautiful daily mass. A walk outside after dinner. A phone call to an old friend. Our children’s smiles. These simple joys are the stuff life--real life--is made of. They are the things that can bring us closest to Jesus, if we have the eyes to see.
And no, they don’t erase the inevitable challenges. They don’t mean our crosses go away. But they are worth taking the time for. They are worth pausing for. They are the exact places where we can encounter Jesus--where we can find Him and be refreshed, so that our hearts are more ready to serve Him and the people around us. Yes, He taught us to go forth and make disciples of all nations, and we can’t forget that mission. But he also taught us to rest. To be content in His Love. And to find Him--and therefore to find joy--in each simple, present moment.