USING parables, Christ clearly shows us how the big things in life, which can go all the way to include the Kingdom of heaven, are achieved through the small things. His parables of the mustard seed and the yeast (Mt 13,31-35), for example, dramatize that point well. It’s a point that actually has been described, articulated, praised a million times over the ages and still does not sink deep enough in our consciousness as to become a guiding principle for at least a majority of us.
Using purely human reason, a Chinese wisdom, for example, puts it this way, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” A similar idea is expressed in a more Christian tone—“Ad astra per aspera” (To the stars through the rough road). It’s important that we give due attention to the small things that comprise practically everything in our day. May we always realize that these small things, like our daily duties in the family and at work, play a crucial and strategic role in our life. We have to overcome our tendency to take them for granted. As one saint put it, we should learn to convert the prose of everyday life, the drudgery of daily concerns into beautiful, poetic verses. This can happen if we look at the little things and carry out our ordinary duties with love.
Obviously, doing these ordinary things with love needs some training. And that simply means that, first of all, God is present everywhere. That’s because we cannot truly fall in love in something or with someone unless we see God, the source of all goodness, in them. We need to discern his presence and his designs in everything.
God is everywhere precisely because he is God. Nothing, absolutely nothing, limits his presence in everything, whether big or small, good or bad, rich or poor, in moments of success or of defeat, etc.
Our problem sometimes lies in the fact that we only find reason to love when things are good, but good in a merely human or natural way. It’s not the good that comes from the goodness of God who defined it when Christ told us, for example, to love our enemies. Let’s remember what Christ precisely said in this regard. “You have heard that it has been said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you.
“That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who makes his sun to rise upon the good and the bad, and rain upon the just and unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? Do not even the publicans do this?” (Mt 5,43-46) We have to base our love on the love of God that covers everything, even to the extent of sending his own son who became man, and letting him bear all our sins by dying on the cross. His love is completely inclusive, though, given our freedom, we can also choose to exclude ourselves from that love. Seeing God in the small, ordinary things of our life is a grave necessity for us. That’s because unless we see and find him there, and unless we love him there, we cannot truly say that we can see, find and love him in the big things that come only occasionally in our life.
Being able to see him and love him in these things and in our adverse situations is truly a state of life proper to us here, and a preparation for our definitive life in heaven where we are going to see him face to face and in total bliss.
We need to key our loving with the love of God for all of us. We have to put our loving in synch with his love. That’s why we need to thoroughly know his doctrine, follow closely the example of Christ, the fullness of God’s revelation, and be faithful to the Church which is the mystical body of Christ here on earth.
We have to acquire the attitudes and the sentiments of Christ. For this, we have to purify our mind and heart, going through the process of conversion, constantly fighting off the enemies of our soul and of God.
We have to learn to pray always, to avail of the sacraments, and appreciate the value of sacrifice. Only in this way can we see God in everything and in everyone.