“Imagine you are on the ride to Bethlehem with Mary and Joseph,” my wise confessor suggested. “Listen to what they are saying and how they are experiencing the journey.”
I could picture myself along side Mary. She, quite literally,’expecting Christmas’ is chatting to Joseph joyfully about the baby’s arrival. She is anticipating wrapping him in the swaddling clothes, sent by her cousin Elizabeth. She has everything set up with her midwife and Joseph has carved the most beautiful cradle she could have ever imagined! “It’s fit for a King, Joseph,” she told her husband.
As my prescribed meditation (penance) ended, I realized that Mary’s Christmas had definitely not gone as she may have planned. God’s idea of that Christmas was quite different from the one she imagined. It was, however, perfect in every way. The Savior born not, in the loving home of Joseph and Mary with a caring midwife attending, but in a stable with angels helping in the delivery of the Lord who would deliver us! No handsome, hand-carved cradle, only a feeding trough (manager) for His glorious head. Yes, so perfect that we ponder it with awe to this very day.
I feel the stress building. The list of things that have to be done in the next 24 hours doubling, when it should be diminishing. Lord, help me to remember that You have a much better plan for my Christmas this year than I do. It might not have anything to do with a clean house, good food or even wrapped gifts, but I pray that my heart will be open and obedient to it, just like Mary’s. Wishing all of you the most blessed and ‘perfect’ Christmas ever!