tJoseph. Today's Gospel tells us of the conception of Christ from
point of view of Joseph, the husband of Mary. It is quite a fantastic
story to read in our macho society. In general we males tend to sow
our wild oats and are very reluctant to assume the consequence of
what we have done. Often the woman is literally left holding the baby.
But Joseph is just the opposite. He loves Mary and is shocked to find
that she is with child. He is afraid to take her as his wife and plans
to put her away quietly. However, he believes the story of the angel
that what has happened in her has happened through the Holy Spirit.
He then assumes responsibility for what has been begun by the Spirit.
How unlike us today! We are fairly willing to take responsibility
for "our own thing" or our own project but are not very
good about supporting what is started by others. But to be a Christian
and a Christbearer is precisely to take responsibility for the work
of the Spirit. In meditation we just be with the present moment, with
reality as it is and not as we would like it to be. John Main tells
us that every moment is a moment of Christ if we are present to it.
It can be an experience of the EMMANUEL, the God-who-is-with-us.
We do not know the actual date of Christ's birth. But we know that
by the third century the Sun god was proclaimed principal patron of
the Roman Empire and the feast was celebrated on December 25. This
was the date of the winter solstice, when the days that had been getting
shorter now began to get longer again, and when new life began to
come back into plants as Spring approached. These things are more
noticeable in more northern cold climates than in the tropical Philippines.
When in the fourth century Christianity became the religion of the
Roman Empire this feast was Christianized into the feast of Christmas.
is also a beautiful paradigm or image of meditation. When we meditate
we let go of everything, we reduce our attention to just the one word.
And when we do this we are opened up to a new expansion of energies
and a fullness of life. We open out to view the world in a new ego-free
way. When the ego is absent Christ has a better chance of being present.
into Silence - A Pathway to Life. Copyright © 1998 by Claretian