Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Advent and Our Lady...

In this season of Advent, it is good to contemplate what was happening at this time (that is, about one week or so before Jesus was born). Mary and Joseph probably had a number of concerns regarding the care for our Lord and for each other. There was also the decree of Caesar, requiring them to go to Bethlehem for the purpose of the census. Because of their holiness, they placed their trust in God. They knew that, because He had asked them to be the Mother and the Foster Father of His Son, He would provide his help.

We too should have the confidence that God is with us every step of the way on our own journeys through life. Sometimes there are very difficult situations in which we find ourselves. It is not easy; yet, God is very close to us with his love and his help. Each of us needs patience and perseverance. We can have a tendency to react strongly to adversity and become angry, depressed, or worried. God sees the whole picture. He knows that, in the end, a bad circumstance can eventually work out for our good. God brings about good from bad in spite of the evil. The effect of the good is greater than the effect of the evil. Hopefully, we react not as our initial tendencies may urge us, but as Jesus wants us to.

Our Lady is a great example for doing just this. She accepted God's invitation to give birth in this world to His Son. She would have known the difficulties: she was not married yet; she and St. Joseph were not wealthy; they would encounter threats to themselves and Jesus. Yet, our Lady was peaceful, patient, and persevering. May each of us be like her now as we prepare for Christmas and always.

Fr. Stanley