The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent remind us that Jesus was born into a human family. It was important that he took on our flesh and blood, but it was equally important that he took on the social relationships that both complete and complicate our lives. We can sometimes think that it would be easier to be holy apart from the people with whom we live and work. But the incarnation reminds us that God calls us to be holy in the midst of those very relationships. He calls us to be faithful even when our careful plans come to nothing, when circumstances suddenly throw our lives into chaos. What we learn from Mary and Joseph is that as long as we say yes to God, he will guide us through the darkness with a sure hand.
This time of year we find ourselves waking in the middle of the night with an endless to-do list running through our heads. Write out some of your persistent anxieties, from the trivial to the profound. Fold up the paper and place it somewhere in or near the nativity scene in your house. Let that gesture remind you to turn your worries, your concerns, and your very life over to God’s providence.
—from the book The Joy of Advent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek