“[Mary] was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.”
There is something that takes place from within us when a message of that sort would ring into our ears, the ‘ears’ of our heart. Mary even dared, at least to ask: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” Mary and Joseph had a fair share of that trouble as both of them received God’s message.
All the narratives about the characters of Christmas are either confronted, touched, moved from within. Making the most difficult decision possible, converting doubts and anxiety into a beautiful Christmas story that is filled with hope.
An American Bishop Fulton Sheen related in one of his lectures the difference between Superman and Christmas. He says that a superhero like Superman, his breakthrough starts from weakness to power. Using the same pattern it is observable in many super hero characters. Fulton Sheen argues that Christmas has a different perspective. God’s breakthrough is from power to weakness. The Lord Jesus, as St. Paul also writes, “though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at; rather he emptied himself and took the form of a slave being born in the likeness of men…” This is a divine breakthrough that is clearly from power to weakness. Venerable Sheen also added that in his interference with nature, a superhero simply touches the external while Christmas works out the interior.
From the point of view of the world, we want to make Christmas as gay as the flickering lights, as colorful as possible from the external. We are greatly troubled from the outside. Christmas has a different story. It works from within, transforming our confusions or doubt into something beautiful. The cacophonous voices from the outside might misled us to discern the troubling message from within us. Conversion and reconciliation are the best breakthrough, from power to weakness. These are all great troubles from the inside. This might be the best present of all.
Christmas is paying attention to the Word. Like Mary, let us learn to ponder God’s message from our heart to experience Christmas filled with hope.
Fray Abraham B. Latoza OAR