In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child…” (Lk 2: 1-6)

Today I’m looking at this passage from the Gospel, about a family in a most precarious situation. A Woman in the advanced stages of pregnancy is obliged to get up and travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a trip that must have been both unexpected and long. It must have taken anywhere from four to seven days. And it wasn’t exactly smooth-sailing when they got there... (Stay tuned for the rest of the story! :) )

Unexpected, insecure situations like this one, when things don’t seem to be going according to (my) plan, either for me or those I love, can fill me with deep anxiety. But that is to say, really, that life in general can fill me with anxiety, because life is commonly full of surprises, departing from my “script.”

Today let me embrace what God is showing me through the unexpected, through the departures from my “script”: that He is in control, not me. Let me ask for His will to be done, for His power to be shown, in my weaknesses and ambivalence. Today I open my heart to His grace and mercy, in a bit of heartfelt prayer. Only He can liberate me from the burdens of self-reliance, when I put myself and others in His hands, letting Him do what I can’t do for myself or others. “Thy will be done,” I say today; let it be done in my life, as it was done in the life of this Family that made the untimely trip to Bethlehem.

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