Feast of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary
Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23
When we look at both these readings on this Feast of the Nativity, we are brought into a faith era. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love God” Romans 8:23 – What would we consider to be good things? The answer would vary greatly from person and circumstance. If in Pakistan it might be a meal – the waters to recede-where is God and why doesn’t he answer – Not much good going on here. Yet, one hears stories from Pakistan of sharing, caring, heroism and serving others. Faith and life are not separate. God will be in the muck of life, in our suffering.
In the gospel we learn about Joseph – a man of honour and integrity – was to divorce Mary but not shame her – then, he is challenged via a dream and the angel tells him to trust (have faith and be not afraid). Matt 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Two things strike me: One, is Joseph – a man of honour and integrity – a father who will show his son the melding of faith-love-compassion-work. He does not speak one word in the gospels something quite telling. It starts here to trust to not be afraid and live. The second thing is how Joseph preserves Mary’s honour – he cares and loves her, he can see what God is doing through her (faith) and together, on their journey they teach their son through their love and commitment, the values of their faith through their relationship and individuality.
Jesus who grows up will be an avid witness to the God within and share this in a way that draws out people from their darkness. His compassion and every virtue he lived is gift and much of this has been shared through the love of family. This family is to be one for all – God centred. Immanuel – ‘God with us.’
People will see in him the God he talks about. That challenge is on us as well. In our minds, hearts, and lives to show the God through who and how we are and being family that brings people home to themselves and one another. At the end of the day, it is about trust in God and perhaps the words of St John of the Cross puts it better. “I walk in dark and secure”
Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.