Wednesday November 20, 2019
3:38 pm

Birth of Christ calls us to reflect on God’s presence in us all

     Once while giving a reflection, I made the pastor sitting in the group chuckle when I suggested that at the moment of the Incarnation, Mary surely was startled; that, it that moment, she felt, in some profound way, that there was something so very special inside of her.

     I daresay most mothers will tell you the same when realizing they are pregnant; at that moment, something very special can be felt happening inside.

     Consciously or unconsciously, Mary felt God within her. While my fertile imagination might imagine that moment for Mary being much like a jolt of electricity, over time I’ve come to appreciate a different thought on the matter.

     While life for Mary changed in ways no one can ever imagine, perhaps there was little difference within because, for her entire life, Mary felt and continued to feel, the true presence of God within her. For this holiest of women, God did not float about like the air around her, but rather was always the spark of life within her.

     So perhaps Mary really wasn’t startled by the new life inside because there was never a time when she didn’t feel the presence of God within.

     Did you ever find it odd that Scripture never mentions Mary being in a panic? Here she was, a very young teen who finds herself pregnant…an angel told her so. She’s engaged to a fine man, Joseph, but from a practical stand point, she knows he cannot possibly be the baby’s father. What on earth is she going to say to him? And, to top it off, she lives in a time and culture where she might easily be stoned to death for her perceived indiscretion.

     But we have always had the sense that Mary remained calm.

     You know how the story continues. Joseph, the good and faith-filled man he was, stays by Mary’s side, ready to accept the child as his own. Then another complication sets in. Mary is far along in her pregnancy but she and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem to take part in the census. Led by Joseph, following the crowd, Mary goes into labor. What to do; there’s not a room to be found except a lowly stable with only the gathered animals to offer their warmth.

     This young woman with a husband, who by all rights should have walked away, is now going to give birth to this heavenly creature in, of all things, a manager, with only straw to soften where he would lay his head. I’d be in a panic, how about you?

     But Mary never seems to be. Why? Because she continues to feel the presence of God within; she believes in God’s plan, wherever that plan might lead her and this miraculous child. And, in her serenity, Mary hears the angels sing to her precious child that night as the stars provide a light show to beat all others.

     It’s not hard to figure out where Mary found her peace, her serenity. Mary always felt the presence of God within. In the giving of her life over to God, she knew all would be as God planned.

     In her fiat, Mary serves as a model for us all.

     Do we ever take the time to feel the presence of God within us…each and every one of us, not just the Blessed Mother? Mary did, and the feeling of God’s presence brought peace and calm into her life that, by any logical standards, should have been filled with fear and chaos. That feeling of God’s presence within brought her an assurance born of heaven that all would be well.

     God is there, you know. That peace and serenity – the knowing that all will be well - can be a part of our lives because God is there within us, too. Maybe this Christmas will provide a time for us to sit in silence and wait to feel God present.

     That “something special” Mary felt is here and a part of us now and forever. All we need to do is make the effort to try and feel his presence.

     A blessed Christmas to you all!

 

     Debbie Bosak is the editor and general manager of Northwest Indiana Catholic Publications and a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Merrillville. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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