The feeling of cold and crisp winter air on your face, soft snow flakes falling gently and curling on the window ledge, a cup of steaming and delicious hot chocolate in front of the blazing fire, a choir melodiously singing carols in the town centre and children sitting on santa’s lap asking for a present for being good all year round, sparkly christmas trees, lots of mulled wine and egg nog, minced pies, a rush to get all the christmas shopping done, parties, dinners and family gatherings….yup! all sounds like that beautiful time of the year again – Christmas! And I don’t know about you, but yes I do love this festival 🙂
It is a glorious celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. However, let us not forget, his parents; St. Joseph and Mother Mary.
Mary was born to St. Anne and St. Joachim of Israel. Joachim was a wealthy man and always made a double offering to God. He was once denied to do so first, as he had not raised a child (Anne and Joachim had been trying for an offspring for a long time). As a result, Joachim went into the desert, pitched his tent there and decided to fast for forty days and forty nights whilst praying to God for an offspring. Anna, who was also frustrated, sat under a laurel tree and prayed to God to bless her with an offspring, just as he had blessed Sarah (wife of Abraham) with Isaac. Suddenly, an angel appeared to Anne revealing that her prayer had been answered by the Lord and that she will be blessed with an offspring. On hearing this, Anna was overjoyed and vouched to dedicate her child to serving the Lord. Nine months later, Anna gave birth to a baby girl, Mary.
At the age of three, Mary was presented to the temple by her parents in order to be educated and serve the Lord. When she reached the age of fourteen, the priest of the temple had a visitation from an angel stating to gather all the widowers of the region and ask them to carry a staff. The one that the Lord points out to, shall be Mary’s husband. The priest did as he was told, and a dove came out of Joseph’s staff ; and he was the chosen one.
Mary through the power of the holy spirit, conceived Jesus. She is a symbol of compassion, kindness, innocence, mercy and is a pure soul.
St. Joseph, was a working man, a carpenter and not well to do. He once offered two turtle-doves (pigeons) as a sacrifice to the Lord, as he could not afford a lamb. He was hardworking, righteous and dedicated his life to serve God and obey his commands. Above all, he loved Jesus dearly and did everything he could to protect his child. When an angel appeared to him and told him to leave the town as his child was not safe, he did as he was told and stayed in Egypt, till he was further instructed that it was safe to return.
Let us celebrate Christmas this year, by remembering the humble parents of Jesus and their life. Let us remember their virtues and strive to imbibe these in our daily lives.
featured image courtesy: filcatholic.org