The place of Jesus’ birth does not look promising. Yet, look at what the life of a babe born in a manger accomplishes. If such a transition is possible for Jesus as a result of His Father’s will, then we should never doubt that the Lord has big things in store for each of us as well – if only we will seek His will. Find it and be obedient to it.
16 The shepherds went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. 18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. 19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. 21 When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
think: The Lord has big things in store for each of us if only we would seek His will.
BEGIN 2011 WITH JESUS
Every life, every beginning starts at birth. Birth never happens without a mother. As we begin the year 2011, the Holy Mother Church invites us to honor and reflect on the greatest of all mothers, Mary, Mother of God.
One Christmas, I remember attending a Christmas reunion party with schoolmates from my high school days. In the midst of the animated faces, excited conversations and lively exchanges, I noticed a less than enthusiastic member in the mix. I spoke to her and she casually told me she was upset about leaving her cell phone at home. “I never leave home without it, Father. That’s why I’m upset.”
“Wow,” I thought to myself. Seeing friends she had not seen in nearly two decades could not reverse her disappointment over the cell phone she left at home.
What would you never leave home without? As we begin the New Year, what would you never begin 2011 without?
Today, the Church gives us a suggestion.
As we ponder on the image painted by St. Luke, notice the plainness of the scene: “The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.” The place was unadorned, simple and uncomplicated. It was simply Joseph and Mary, with Jesus lying in the manger.
Today’s feast of Mary, the Mother of God, is a beautiful reminder. Mary was with Jesus. Mary understood that the baby she delivered is the One who would deliver the world. So what would you never leave home without? What would you never begin 2011 without? Mary proposes an answer. Never leave home without Jesus. Never begin 2011 without Jesus.
Ponder on this: We may never know what the future holds. But we know who holds our future. Like Mary, be with Jesus.
Thanks to Fr. Joel O. Jason for sharing this very inspiring story.
To whom do you entrust the year ahead — to your own powers or to the One who knows and holds everything in His hands?
Oh Mary, there are many things you did not see but your faith enjoined you to travel on securely, joyfully. With you, we rejoice at the birth of Christ, our Light, and to Him we pray, “Lead kindly light…Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step is enough for me.”
St. Fanchea, pray for us.