Today the Church celebrates the nativity of the Jewish peasant girl Mary whose birth was so ordinary that it didn’t even find a place in Scripture. Yet she was filled with grace to bear the Son of God. People like Joachim, Anna and Mary are radical reminders that it’s the least likely ones who end up changing the world. This was probably why Mary had to be born of a sterile woman to assure the world that however hopeless a situation seems there is always a potential for God to intervene and transfigure it. God begins where humans give up. Thus the Prophet Isaiah propels;
“Sing, O barren one who did not bear; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate woman will be more than the children of her that is married says the Lord” (Isa. 54.1).”
The greatest anomaly of Christian faith is that it hallows the ordinary. If the birth of Mary was quotidian, the birth of her son was even more ordinary. Christ neither reveals himself in ethereal forms nor superhuman feats but through the very mundane aspects of life. He comes into this world as an infant utterly reliant on his mother’s milk. The Creator sojourns on the earth as a beggar exclusively at the mercy of His creation. He incarnates not as a prince but as a working class man. He speaks neither Hebrew (the sacred language of His culture) nor Greek (the language of the intellectual elites) but Aramaic and that too in the cadence of Galilee considered to be the armpit of the society.
Christ enters the ordinary and sanctifies it. Who in the wildest imagination would have thought that a manger and cross could be salvific ! This is how the Church should sustain the legacy of Christ; not by being obstinate about the cent percent attendance of its parishioners rather inspiring people to celebrate the mundane and meet God hidden in the most ordinary people and events of our ordinary lives. I conclude with words of Matt Regner:
“The laity are not meant to live their lives at the parish, and if they do, they will not be able to renew the temporal order. Their vocation is, by definition, mundane, quotidian, and we should not seek to pull them away from it. To the extent that we do, it should only be for the sake of building them up before sending them back to live out their faith within their particular sphere of influence, to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (cf. Mt 5:13-16).”
~ 𝐃𝐚𝐲𝐫𝐨𝐲𝐨 𝐅𝐫. 𝐁𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐥