Next week, we celebrate Christmas. We are retold the story of how the Holy family had to go back to Bethlehem because of a census. We learn that the city was full, and Mary was in labor. We relive the birth of Christ in a stable and how even in not the best conditions (to our high standards), our King and Savior was born into this world.
Will we be filled with joy because of Christmas? Are we going to celebrate the Birth of Christ with praise and thanksgiving, or are we going to feel disappointed because we didn’t get the things that we wanted?
Jesus was born in poverty. A stable, full of animals, and not once in the scriptures do we hear about Mary saying that this place is not fit for the King of all Nations. We don’t hear about the complaints and groans of this Holy Family because they know that what was to happen was by the divine will of God.
Now imagine us. How many of us would be okay giving birth in a stable full of animals? How many of us get bent out of shape when we don’t get the things we want? Could we put ourselves in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s shoes and humbly accepted that all these events come with saying ‘yes’? Can fathers put themselves in Saint Joseph’s shoes knowing that they not only married a woman who did not carry their child, but out of love for her (and obeying God), his wife was about to give birth in what seems like appalling conditions?
The Holy Family did not have control over anything. The only controlled their free will, and with that, they decided to say yes, and accept the road that was before them.
This Christmas day, let us remember the poverty that Christ was born into. Let us remember the sights, and what it would have smelled like. Let us also not forget how Mary and Joseph both put it in God’s hands to take care of their little family.
Christmas was never about Christmas gifts, and getting everything that we wanted. It’s not about self pleasing and saying that “I deserve” all this and more. Christmas is about Christ enriching our lives. His birth, life and death, taught us so much about how to live and die.
His birth was a birth of poverty, but let us not forget our spiritual poverty. Our emptiness that we feel when He’s not here yet. The longing for the savior, and joy we feel when He finally is with us. To truly see ourselves as we really are.
This Christmas day, let us tremble in anticipation for His birth. Let us learn and know spiritual poverty, and truly get fed and filled by Christ on Christmas day.
As Christmas approaches, we ask Lord that you fill our hearts with anticipation for the Birth of Christ. Remind us how the Holy Family endured even when things seemed bleak. Give us the humility that Mary had, and the obedience that Joseph had in You. Teach us to look to this Holy Family as a shining example of family love.