Have you ever stopped to think about how truly unbelievable the Birth of Christ is? Here is this innocent little baby who is our Savior! So many things had to come together before this happened. Mary had to say "yes". Joseph had to have enough faith to say "yes". One little "no" and history would have been different.
What struck me while reading today's Readings, was how things that were foretold in the Old Testament came to fruition. In the First Reading (Isaiah 7:10-14), we're told that there will be a sign, a virgin birth whose name will be Emmanuel. Mary's and Joseph's yes fulfilled that sign.
The reflections that I read centered around signs. One that I read suggested that, at times, we are so caught up in looking for signs that we forget to give the control to God. I keep saying this in recent posts, but I'm really trying to live this in my daily life: God knows all. He knows what we're going to do, how we're going to mess up, and how we're going to fix it. So there's no reason to worry. We have to give it all to God. With one son traveling across the country and another one staying at university for break, reminding myself of this has kept me from getting down and from worrying. I'm strangely completely at peace with everything.
ePriest put things in perspective for me. Joseph's plans were completely shattered by Mary's news. He more than likely had their life planned out: he would work in his carpentry shop, Mary would keep the house, and they would have lots of children in the years to come. What a blow this must have been to him. How terrible he must have felt! And then he has this dream. He must have said, "Wait. How are my plans changing? I'm going to do what? Mary is going to be the mother of whom? I'm going to raise whom?" Yet, he had the faith to say "yes" and do as God asked.
The video reflection from USCCB by Father Greg Friedman told 2 pieces of trivia (as it were) about today's Gospel (Matthew 1:18-24): Luke told the story of Mary's Annunciation; Matthew tells us about Joseph's. None of Joseph's words are recorded, only his actions. This is a perfect example of actions speaking louder than words.
The Deacon during the Homily asked us how many times during the day do we say "That's unbelievable"? I know that I say it quite often. Now think about how many times we say that same thing when talking about our Lord. Not very many, huh? But if we stop to really think about Jesus' birth, His life, and His death, it truly is unbelievable.
The next time you say "That's unbelievable", think about our Lord. Think about how truly unbelievable He really is, and how much faith it requires to believe. And, as the Deacon said, if someone asks you how you can believe, give them this answer: "God said it, God did it, and that's enough for me."