Last week many of us attended The Shepherd’s Play. The play is of course the story of the shepherds hearing the good news from the angel and finding Jesus in a manger. But it is also the story of Mary who journeys with Joseph to give birth to the Christ child. And I was struck again that in order to give birth to the Christ, Mary had to follow the call from the angel and give birth to the Christ in a most unexpected place. Mary gave birth to the holy child in the humble discomfort of a stable.

At Advent time we are reminded that within each and every human soul, within each one of us, there is also a Mary – an inner Mary who is pregnant with the spirit child. For to become a real Christian, to become who we are meant to be means to give birth to Christ in us. And for this to happen, just like for Mary, our souls too must follow the call we, too, must find and accept the stable.

And the Mary in us knows that to follow the call means to take up our inspirations, the things we love, and walk the journey of our lives. It means to hear the soft voice of God in our hearts that says, ‘become’ – become through our work in the world, whatever that work may be. ‘Become’ through creativity and art, through counseling, through teaching and parenting, through farming. Not only are we called to become in and through our passions and joys, but the Christ comes alive in us simply whenever we cultivate more love, hope and faith in human hearts.

But dear friends, let us also never forget, that the Christ child is born in a stable. Therefore, like Mary, let us pay close attention when our destiny brings us an unwanted place. Let us feel that when our destiny brings us something cold and uncomfortable, something difficult to accept, that the stable has come. Let us always remember that when our lives bring us to our knees in humility, in powerlessness, like Mary, it is there that the Christ can be born.