Advent is the beginning of the Church year because it’s the beginning of God’s time.
As long as we’re in our own time we’re always looking at our watches!
In these final days of advent use Mary and Joseph to step into Gods time. Put yourself in their shoes, first Mary’s then Joseph’s.
Pope Francis says that in these last days of Advent like Mary we should say to the baby Jesus in the womb; “Come! I want to see your face” – and really mean it.
He asks: “Are we watching, waiting, or are we closed? Are we secure in an inn or are we pilgrims?” Life will always bring us back to being a pilgrim. Life is a bridge, never build your house on it!
Joseph, what a lovely man. He clearly loves Mary and has entered the preparatory stages of marriage. But before they come to live together “she was found to be with child…” Disaster! Joseph knows he’s not the father; what’ll he do? What would you do? He does what we’d all do – most likely – he decides to separate, to “divorce her informally.” But there’s kindness in Joseph. He wants to “spare her publicity” – the danger for Mary of course is that if her situation becomes public knowledge she risks being stoned to death. So here’s a man torn between the rigid application of the law and compassion. Joseph’s heart becomes a bridge between the rigid application of the law and compassion – a heart of mercy. Joseph is not just a lovely man, he is like God as manifested in the adult Christ-child.
Pope Francis says that when Joseph was confronted with Mary’s unplanned pregnancy – unplanned at least in human terms – he “is the faithful and just man who chose to believe the Lord rather than listen to the voices of doubt and human pride” – and fear.
Mary and Joseph teach us that life is not about us. The single greatest lesson to be learned in life is that life is not about us. And together with the baby Jesus they teach us that life is not about our children either. They teach us that life is about what God is doing. So don’t spend your life in your own time. Get into God’s time.