Christ is born!
As the Nativity Season has now hit, I take time to wish you all a merry one!
I was thinking, while chatting with another contributor here, what the Nativity meant, that year, so long ago…
Mary had a vocation: to be the Theotokos, the God-Birther, the Mother of our God. What did this mean?
Well, for the previous 9 months, it meant the grievous risk of execution, should Joseph have chosen to put her out, or at best, being excluded from the community as a harlot… Not a happy thought.
Then, for the next several years, to live a life hunted by the crown. To go wherever her son’s safety required. To do what was needed. To help him be fully human. To do the things his body could not yet do. To feed and clothe him. To care for and nurture this most adept of children.
Then, for several years, spent in obscurity, to simply be mom to a precocious child who could kill wih a word, should he have chosen to. Oh, what a constant stress that could be!
And then, at his coming of age, to find him not where he “should” have been but teaching the rabbis and priests! Again, putting it all at risk.
And then, to take him down from the cross, body broken, naked, battered, and bloody. And to trust another to hurry him to a tomb.
Did she know?
How did she cope?
Joseph, too, had a vocation…
To keep a woman who bore a child not his own, to raise that child as his own, to flee with them from Herod, to let him experience being the one not in charge, and to finally let him go. We know little of his role past the temple… and not much about him, either. But his calling, as the angel came to him, was to change his life. And not just his, but all of our lives.
Vocations are many and varied…
Just because one isn’t called to be a priest, deacon, hermit or monastic does not mean one has no vocation.
Each of us has a role to play in the salvation of others, even if it is just singing joyfully that song one hates, but the parish loves. To be the best Christian we can be.
To know that, 2 milenia ago, God chose to beget his only son, who was both fully god and fully man, and to have him live as one of us for some 30 years… and then to be the last blood sacrifice required of mankind. God chose his own son to be sacrificed, knowing that he could not intervene in his own plan as he had for Abraham. God, the great I Am, had made the law, and now had to fulfill it. He did…
And so also, we, the poor banished children of Eve, take his mother as our own. And praise her willingness to take on the unknown risks as she did so long ago, culminating in the Holy Family.
So, I ask you, Brothers and Sisters, to pray for me, and that you find your vocation, that thing that God wants you to do to aid in the plan of salvation. Even if it is nothing more than to Give Glory to God by participating in the Divine Liturgies of our Holy Catholic Church, be it the Roman Mass, the Holy Quorbono, the DL of St Basil or St John, or any of the other expressions of our Catholic Faith.
And He is born unto us! God is now with us! We have found him in the cave at Bethlehem!