by Sarah Stravitsch
During this Advent season we wait for the coming of Jesus with the whole Church and in the company of Mary. I wonder what Mary was thinking about during her difficult journey to Bethlehem. Surely, she knew the time for her Son to be born was approaching. Did she worry she would get to Bethlehem in time? Did she beg God to wait just a little longer until they were in a place fitting for her to deliver His Son? Was it difficult to leave the home she had already prepared for Him? Whatever went through her mind, I don’t doubt that she trusted completely in God.
Recently, I was awaiting the birth of my own child. Just like Mary, I knew the time for my delivery was near. My daughter’s due date was very close to the Catholic Women’s Conference. As coordinator of the conference, I was a little worried when my doctor said she didn’t think I would be there. I begged God to wait just a little longer so that I could be at the conference. Then I asked Mary to help me trust in God’s will; whatever it may be.
I did attend the conference and even had some extra time to rest and to be with my son before my daughter arrived. Soon though, I found myself a little impatient feeling like I had waited so long already; how much longer must I wait? How patient God is with me! So often we want to plan and have God arrange things just as we want them, when in actuality God makes the plan and we should arrange our lives to be open to it. I had no control when my daughter was going to be born—I simply had to wait for His will and trust in Him.
My daughter’s name is Sophia, which we chose because it means wisdom. I received some wisdom during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Even though God answered my prayer and I attended the conference, He reminded me that His ways are not our ways. His wisdom looks like foolishness to the world. Doesn’t it seem foolish that He would permit His only Son to be born homeless and lying in an animal manger? However in God’s holy wisdom, it was His will that Jesus emptied Himself completely and abandoned Himself to Mary and Joseph. How much more should we empty ourselves before God and abandon our total selves to Him.
Perhaps this is what Mary was pondering on the road to Bethlehem. May she pray for us, as we journey through this Advent season. May we learn to abandon our entire selves to her Child and trust in Him completely.