If not for COVID-19, this is usually a travel month for many family and friends. Certainly, a good amount of time and effort is put in planning travels: Where to stay? How to get there? What places to visit? Where to eat? What to buy?
Any seasoned traveler will always say to expect changes when traveling. For some reason, many of them are beyond our control and traveling plans can be altered. These unexpected events can bring fear, anxiety, and worry.
In discussing travel, we can also discuss journey, as it is said that life is a JOURNEY. Certainly, despite all the planning we do in life, changes are inevitable. Such was the experience of Mary: she planned to get married to Joseph and raise a family until an angel told her that she would bear a son and it would not be an ordinary son. It is the MESSIAH. How does she explain this to Joseph? How does she explain this to Joakim and Ana? How does she explain this to the neighbors and relatives? What did she get into?
My dear friends, when we find ourselves in a situation like Mary and ask ourselves. “What have I gotten myself into?” Three things we can remember:
- Change is part of life. Yes, there are pleasant changes, like being given a trip abroad, and there are difficult changes, such as when you suddenly find out the person you trusted betrayed you, or you come across a sickness or financial difficulty. Whether we are Christians or not, whether we are close to God or not, we are still part of life and part of life is changes.
- Everything Happens for a Reason. I have in my room a poster that says, “Someday all events in our lives will make perfect sense. For now, let us laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and know that everything happens for a reason. Let us trust God that from our greatest troubles will come our greatest rewards.”
- Anger or Hope. In every circumstance or event, we have two options: on one end, anger. But what does that lead us to? On the other hand, we can hope. We may not understand the things that are happening and it could be painful but we can always hold on to God. In fact, he can take our frustrations and sadness when we call to him.
That is why in every Mass we remember that we are never alone. God is always with us. Should we find ourselves in that moment where we ask ourselves, “What have I gotten myself into?” Like Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah, we remember Emmanuel – “God is with us!”