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Spiritual Reflection - December 2022

A Christmas Message – What is God doing right now?

A great meditation for me is to ponder the characters in the Nativity story: Joseph, Mary, the Three Wise Men and observe what comes to mind. When I do this, two words keeps surfacing: generous and listen.

Joseph knows how to listen to the Spirit through his dreams. All of his instructions came to him in his dreams. His fiancé is pregnant but he learns not to divorce her. When the child is born he realizes he must remove Jesus from Bethlehem and go down to Egypt (the land that speaks of slavery), then return, not to his familiar dwelling, but to Nazareth in the region of Galilee. All this to co-operate with God to protect the infant Jesus. He listens and responds totally.

Mary relates somewhat differently to God. An Angel appears to her and says “you are to conceive and bear a son.” Mary replies “I am the servant of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me”.

The Three Wise Men had an instinct to follow a particular star. That instinct was the
Spirit of God and it led to bowing before the infant incarnate God. They weren’t taking a gamble but following a conviction, proved by the gifts they placed before the child.

Next, these men knew not to return to Herod. They sensed his destructive power. How full of the Spirit must they have been!

Vincentians can reflect these characters by asking themselves: Where is God calling us to serve? How shall we carry out our work? Mary, Joseph and The Three Wise Men took enormous risks. But in this they gave Christ to the world. That’s what we do when we serve the poor with generous love and allow God to lead us.

Ngā mihi o te wā, A blessed and happy Christmas to you all.

Fr Alan.

Discussion: Looking back on the past year, where as a conference of Vincentians do you feel:

  • You have taken risks? Comment.
  • You have (with the support of others) given totally and generously?
  • Followed your instincts and been surprised?