At the beginning of our faith lives as Catholics, we find the most unplanned of all pregnancies. Mary was a teenage girl. Accepting the consequences of God’s plan involved serious risk to the health of the mother. Girls pregnant out of wedlock could be divorced or stoned. She said “Yes.” to God’s plan. She said “Yes” to life. Saint Joseph also had to grapple with the results of an unexpected pregnancy. He also allowed God to rewrite his life. The Holy Family reflected how each of us is to respond to the unexpected, the unplanned, the difficult and the frightening; with great and absolute love from Christmas to Calvary.
To be faithful to Christ and his teachings, we must speak with all our words and actions. We will come up against the poor and the immigrant, the stranger, the unfortunate and the defenseless and have the opportunity over and over again to show whether our hearts are open or not. It is a difficult thing to “make room in the inn” for what God has planned. The unborn can only be saved via a change in the hearts, culture and laws which currently do not see the Divine purpose and inherent worth of each individual. As Catholics, we must wake the world to this message by speaking out with the angels. Witnessing to the powerful as though we were the three kings, we must also remain simple in our devotion to Christ and awe at His love, like the shepherds. We have all these roles in our everyday lives, but they all stem from first acknowledging the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
For the child in his mother’s womb, every day of gestation is purely at his mother’s whim. It is unpopular in a culture that values today and easy solutions to speak out and tell people that what they do is wrong, what they value is wrong, and what they advocate others consider or promote is wrong. However, if we wish to be Christ’s disciples, we are not called to live safe lives. We are here to participate in the cross. We are called to be heralds like the angels. We are called to be all the roles of the Christmas Story save one. Him, we are to revere, to protect, to defend, to serve and to love.
This year, for Christ, to celebrate Christmas, become a witness to His birth, and to the reality of the unborn. Christ is ever present. It is up to us as Catholics to recognize His face, in the Eucharist, and in each other, and in the faces of those who suffer, including those faces we never see.
40 million lives and counting. What little faith we must have, that we are so eager to destroy the future. Thankfully, God is much more patient with us than we are with ourselves. Pray for peace. Pray for peace in all of our hearts, and as the 40 million holy innocent martyrs to pray for us all.
Copyright 2008 Sherry Antonetti