“Catholic at Home” with Jennifer Antkowiak

Jennifer Antkowiak

Doing the Dishes with Jesus

During these long months of the pandemic, we have become frustrated and tired. Displays of anger, hatred, bitterness and violence fill our news channels and social media screens. Hearts have hardened. But that’s not what Jesus wants for us, or from us.

As Catholics, we feel called to emulate Jesus and create positive change. But how? We are human. Creating positive change takes energy, which many of us lack after months of stress and anxiety. When we think of how to make our community or our world better, we can feel overwhelmed. That may lead to guilt and more frustration.

Where can we find hope? How can we share love?

Try starting small.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

Read that quote again. Let its power sink in.

In the midst of busy days, frustrations and fears, we often overlook the importance of the little things we do. What little things are on your daily “To Do” list? Folding clothes? Packing the dishwasher? Taking out the garbage?

None of those things take long in the grand scheme of things. However, those little moments link together to make up our hours…our days…our weeks, month, years, and lives. Could our lives be more joyful if we made a serious effort to “do small things with great love”?

I say yes. In fact, I’ve tried it, and it works.

Instead of getting frustrated over washing the kids’ sports stuff, take a moment to smile and thank God for healthy children who are able to play sports. Trade frustration over doing the dishes (again) for a smile, while thanking God for the blessing of good food for your family. And yes, instead of being mad about having to take out the garbage – well, that’s a tough one to celebrate, but you get the point.

Go deeper. Use those minutes for quick private reflections on the good things that surround each chore as you complete it.

If this sounds like crazy talk, ask Jesus for help: “Please help me to do small things with great love. Please soften my heart and open my eyes to see and feel all the good things I have around me. Help me to be more appreciative of all that I have been given.”

My experience is that those mundane moments suddenly become precious opportunities for conversations with Jesus. Intentionally welcoming Him into our hearts in the little moments helps us build a stronger relationship with Him. Quality in-between-Sundays time with our Lord makes us realize that we are never alone.

There’s so much love in that! Wrapping our small things in the love of Jesus enables us to do great things with confidence because we know He is beside us. Our world needs the great things we each have within us.

No matter how desperate life may seem, we each need to remember that His plan for us is greater than anything we could imagine. That plan starts with us showing up for the small things, with hearts full of love.