After Jesus was conceived Mary had nine months to prepare for His coming. Yet rather than attend to her own needs, she went in haste to Elizabeth to tend to her needs. Why? Because the angel Gabriel had told her about Elizabeth, so it seemed like the next step to take. Plus her heart was filled with love of others.
This was not an easy journey. Mary lived in Galilee in the north, while Elizabeth lived in the hill country around Jerusalem. Between them were mountainous roads through the hostile territory of Samaria. These Samaritans were inhospitable to Jesus and His disciples when they were headed to Jerusalem. So much so that we have the first recorded attack of road rage where John wanted to call down fire from heaven on them. Yet Mary knowing these conditions goes in haste to Elizabeth.
We have no idea what the Holy Family’s plans for Jesus’ birth were, but we can be fairly sure they did not include a stable in Bethlehem or becoming refugees in Egypt. We know that Mary prayed and tried to do what God was calling on her to do that day. When the time came the Holy Family was prepared.
Just before the Ascension, the apostles and disciples were told to stay in the city until they were clothed with power from on high. So they prayed with Mary in the upper room for nine days. They obeyed the last thing they were told and prayed.
Today, everyone can sense that the world is getting ready to explode. Indeed, the opening skirmishes are taking place around the world. Some people are stocking up on gold, ammo or food but the only preparation that will truly see you through is to prepare as Mary and the Apostles did with prayer and obedience. Prepare but place your faith in God, not in your own preparations. St. Peter instructs us:
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
There was a time when Peter lived in fear but after his nine days of prayer and preparation. He was clothed with power from on high just as Jesus said. Prepare for Christmas, and prepare for these troubling days by “living lives of holiness and godliness”. Pray that you will be clothed with power from on high, and be led like the Holy Family was. Your plans may come to naught, but God’s plans are certain.
Referenced Scripture: Luke 1, Luke 9: 51-56, 2 Peter 3:11-13
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