By Sean Patrick Miller, guest blogger and author of Full of Life.
Hope Comes Disguised
The coming of Our Divine Savior is shrouded in disguises even though He is right before our very eyes.
Perhaps the Jewish people were expecting their savior to deliver them from slavery in a very dramatic and awe-inspiring manner. Yet, the Lord quietly decided to come to His people in an unassuming and obscure way. A tiny infant in the piercing cold winter night quietly and almost secretly entered the world without any fanfare … almost completely unnoticed. The Lord revealed Himself first to the humble as He came to the shepherds, the God-fearing Holy Kings, and, of course, Joseph and Mother Mary.
From the very beginning, trials accompanied the Holy Family and yet they did not get perturbed. Instead, with even greater attention they sought out and listened for God’s direction. The Almighty protected them from the danger that surrounded them.
Once Herod heard that the prophecy of the coming of a “Newborn King” had been fulfilled, he sought His destruction immediately. The Holy Family started on their flight to Egypt and found solace and safety as they followed God’s direction. As they continued to carry with them the “Hope” of the world, they relied solely on the guidance of the Lord as they trusted in His Divine Providence.
And “Hope” overcame the darkness. The Holy Family showed that their hope for the world far outweighed any dangers that surrounded them.
The similarities between the Holy Family and the unexpected pregnancy a new mother experiences are closely connected. A mother with an unexpected pregnancy understandably becomes flooded with all the concerns that come along with her new situation. These perceived dangers: what will people think, will my family reject me, will I be ostracized and humiliated, will I receive the support I need and ultimately will my baby and I be accepted? Sadly, these are real concerns for the new mom! Yet, if she could only trust that she could be fully accepted and supported without reservation, none of these things would concern her.
Once a mother gets the support and acceptance that she and her baby need and should receive she will begin to see the “Hope” that was always hers in her newborn baby. She will see that every trial connected to her newborn child only makes her hope shine brighter! The trials will only make her love for her child stronger. As people lovingly support her, she will begin to realize that love does really conquer all fear and there is always a reason to hope.
In both cases – the expectant mother and the Holy Family — there are real dangers, and yet the solution to these dangers remains the same … hope! Hope comes in many forms but ultimately in the form of support from others. Once people accepted the Divine Christ Child as their Savior, they began to see the Hope in Him completely! Once peopled accept and support the gift of a newborn child, regardless of the circumstances, the mother and her baby will receive the hope that they desire and rightfully deserve!
Especially at this time of the birth of the Savior, let us look for the “Hope,” that so often comes to us “disguised.” Let’s be that Hope for others as we light a candle of hope in the midst of the darkness.