Advent Reflections – December 21, 2015

Living in Harmony: Mary in Scripture

When God first spoke to Mary and she accepted His will into her heart and womb, she embarked on a rocky road. She must have told Joseph about the experience, since Scripture tell us he was going to quietly divorce her. Mary and Joseph experiences a period of complete discord and disunity. Perhaps she tried to explain what happened – but how can you really explain “an angel told me, how could I say no?” She may have appealed to his goodness and compassion, asking him to protect her from the severity of the law which could have been lethal if she was not married. At least, that’s what I would have done.

I, however, am not Mary, who was full of grace and lived in unique and perfect harmony with God. When I imagine how Mary would have handled this time of disunity, I find something rather different than my own attempts to fix the problem. Actually, I don’t think Mary tried to fix the problem. I think sat Joseph down and explained as best she could what had happened. She understood that what she was telling him was difficult, impossible even. And yet she would have trusted in his faith in God and in her. She probably told him to pray about it and listen for God’s whispers in his heart. Even when he moved to divorce her, I believe she kept her peace and patience.

Even though Joseph may not have been in unity with Mary during this difficult time, she was with him. She maintained her patience, her compassion, her understanding and her faith in God’s will. She supported Joseph as he struggled to understand what was happening to him through her choice to be the Mother of God.

Being in unity with someone does not mean perfect understanding exists between the two of you. Sometimes, unity is difficult and requires sacrifice, patience and compassion. How can you build greater unity and foster harmony with someone you have a tendency disagree with?

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