There are signs of God’s presence all around us if we take the time to open our eyes. Those ‘God is with us’ events and experiences where the presence of Christ comes to birth in our own lives.
How important it is to take time and reflect on those ordinary and profound moments where God breaks through and touches us in some way. Through simple experiences of wonder and beauty but also challenging and demanding encounters that help us grow in wisdom and understanding of what it means to be human.
When things are challenging it’s important for us to
hear ‘Do not be afraid’ as Mary did when she was asked to take on her role and as Joseph heard in his dream featured in today’s Gospel, ‘’Do not be afraid to take
Mary home as your wife.” We get some indication in the Gospels, but we can only imagine the thoughts and questions they had.
Mary’s encounter with the Angel Gabriel and the power
of the ‘Most High’ covering her with its shadow was of course a profound experience of God for her and given salvation history for each one of us and for the whole World. We are eternally grateful to St Joseph for responding in the way he did to support and protect Mary and her unborn child at a time of great vulnerability for her. Both Mary and Joseph willingly and generously responded to what God wanted not knowing the full implications just as we don’t in responding to God’s call to us. We need to be reassured constantly not to be afraid and keep walking the journey. May these central figures inspire us today and this week but also all those other people that we know personally who express those same generous and steadfast qualities.
We hear that Mary often pondered the experiences of her life in her heart. I know things can be extremely busy for us at this time of the year but to steal some quiet time during the rush and bustle to simply ponder and give thanks for who and what we are grateful for is worth the effort. Maybe we can just take a few moments now.
Pondering on what is happening in our lives knowing ‘God is with us’ through it all can be helpful to gain a sense of peace and meaning from those things we may find demanding and difficult to understand.
My mother and I recorded a song together about Mary some years ago now encouraging the need to ponder and listen as she did.
The song is featured on Holy Land entitled ‘O Maria’ for you to listen to now if you would like.
Some of my favourite Christmas songs featured on the album, ‘You are the Gift’ are also unlocked for you to listen to on this website if you wish over these days.
Every blessing for the Christmas Season and for 2020. I will touch base with you all again later in the new year. For those going on holiday may you have a great time connecting with friends and loved ones and enjoy your rest and relaxation.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!