Rejoicing in the Ordinary
“Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
In today’s readings, my heart caught onto this theme of rejoicing. And what struck me the most is the Lord calling us to this constant state of rejoicing. Now I don’t know about you, but finding reasons to rejoice on a daily basis can seem merely impossible when we are plagued with a society that is always pushing the latest and greatest thing into our newsfeed and telling us we need to step up our game in order to keep up. Or maybe you feel like you’re stuck in the same-old-same-old routine of endless papers, or never ending work travel, or toddlers who never seem to stop running/crying/writing on things that shouldn’t be written on. Whatever your current state of ordinary I want to let you know that you are not alone, that the Lord is present, and wants to be invited into your ordinary daily life.
I’ve recently come across this quote from St. Teresa of Avila, “Know that even when you are in the kitchen our Lord moves amidst the pots and pans.” As someone who loves to spend as much time in the kitchen as possible, having this small little reminder that God is with me even in the midst of the ordinary, day-to-day tasks of washing dishes, meal-prepping, cleaning counters, gives me this overwhelming sense of joy. I mean, just think about it…. God, the Father of heaven and earth, wants to be with me and you even in the kitchen! WOW! What a gift that is to us - that he is there, present, in our ordinary daily life.
How often is he there, present, and we do not choose to encounter him? Maybe this week I can take a moment each day and make the conscious decision to rejoice in a specific moment. Maybe finding a short moment to pause and just be with the Lord, feel his presence, and give thanks for whatever little piece of joy he has brought to me as a gift. Truly, whole-heartedly rejoice with him, even amidst the pots & pans, the Legos, or the daily commute. Wherever your “kitchen” is, let that daily encounter be a reminder of his promise that he is always with you and “when you see this, your heart shall rejoice.”
Susie Lopez is a life-long Texan who enjoys running, cooking, dancing, and exploring all of the delicious food that Houston has to offer. She is a conference coordinator for the St. John Paul II Foundation, a national Catholic apostolate proclaiming the Good News about life and family through education and formation. The Foundation pursues its mission through three hallmark initiatives: Converging Roads, which provides formation in medical ethics to health care professionals; Together in Holiness, which serves Catholic couples; and Shepherd’s Heart, which supports clergy as they seek to build a culture of life and love.