Lay Life in a Year

52 Reflections on JPII's vision for the Laity

Week 19: The Sacrifice of Spilled Cereal

It was a hard morning with the kids. The oldest didn’t listen and spilled his cereal all over the floor. I was upset, but surprisingly, my wife wasn’t. She refilled his bowl, patted him on the head, and then quietly got down on her knees to clean up his mess. It was such a small act of love, but her humble service made me tear up.

My son obliviously munched away. “Thomas,” I said, “you know there were priests in the Old Testament and we have a priest at our parish. But do you know what a priest does?

He offers a sacrifice for other people. In a way, a priest cleans up a mess he didn’t make.

Jesus is the priest that offers the sacrifice of Himself for everyone. Did you know that because we are baptized, we are all supposed to be priests like Jesus too? Look at mamma: she’s cleaning up a mess she didn’t make because she loves you.”

John Paul II talks about the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of all Christians. They are not the same, but they are both a real priesthood. The suffering and sacrifices in our life are not meaningless.

Because we are Christians, even cleaning up a bowl of spilled cereal has so much value. Even if you feel like you have nothing to offer the Church because you are sick in bed or some other limitation, your life matters, because Jesus has made you a priest like Him too.

Lay Life in a Year Overview

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Week 18: Continuing Christ’s Mission

You may have heard St. Paul’s shocking words: “We make up for what is lacking in the suffering of Christ.” (Col. 1:24) Is he saying Jesus isn’t enough? It’s a bit like when my 4 year old helps me cook. Well, he feels like he’s helping, but mostly I let him add some...

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Week 17: Being Christ In The World

Charles was an older man who spent the whole day working with us on a project. It was touching how often things reminded him of his wife. Flowers he brought to their first date, the time she was in the hospital for a week, and her kindness, joy, and patience. After 55...

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Week 16: Temples of the Spirit

Have you ever lost your keys and ended up searching all over the place? Maybe you even look in the same drawer two or three times? You know they’re around, but they just don’t seem to be anywhere. Well, sometimes this is how it is with God too. We know He is...

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