One of the most common meditations for Christmas is the poverty of the holy family. While we may hear this meditation often, do we really take it to heart?
Poverty can be a very scary thing. It strips us of those material comforts that help us run away from our wounds and fears. It forces us out of our element and shows us who we really are.
So, what does poverty show us about the Holy Family? It shows us their humility and ability to find joy in all situations. Nowhere do we read that Mary and Joseph complained that they couldn’t find a place in the inn or that the manger was uncleanly and unfit for the birth of their child. Mary and Joseph’s response to the unexpected, should be our model of what to do whenever we are in unwanted situations.
While not all of us may be physically poor as the holy family was, we all have some kind poverty present in our lives that makes us uncomfortable. What is yours? Your inability to provide materially for yourself, for your family? Your inability to make friends? Your inability to be emotionally intimate with others? Your inability to forgive?
Once you’ve figured out what your poverty is, face it head on. Dive into it, let it become a reality and thank God for its presence in your life. Without poverty, there is a danger that we will deify ourselves. It keeps us rooted in reality, especially when we don’t want to be.
Accepting our poverty is a process, its not as simple as “I will it, and so it is”. We have to make the choice everyday to pick up our cross and use it in our favor. We always have to ask ourselves, how can this cross help me get closer to heaven? What virtue does God want me to grow in? A cross left untouched is a suffering wasted. Let’s put our poverty to work.
God bless and have a very merry Christmas.