“The news of Jesus’ arrival confused Mary; caused Joseph to consider divorce; and, in King Herod, commenced a genocidal fury. Once Jesus is born, Mary and Joseph have to flee Bethlehem to evade Herod’s assassins. The Holy Family wait there until an angel tells Joseph to return; but Joseph, fearful of Herod’s son, and warned by another angel, decides to head to Nazareth.
That’s the first Christmas. It rattles a marriage. It exiles a family. It endangers lives. And it provokes a madman to murder. The brisk descriptions in the New Testament fail to capture what must have been, for Mary and Joseph and many others, a bewildering, terrifying ordeal.”
“During Advent we have the opportunity to open our hearts, even surrounded by darkness and pain and allow Christ to be birthed in our hearts. After all, Mary was surely not comfortable riding on a donkey while she was nine months pregnant or labouring in a stable, yet she let go of her suffering and received the Christ Child with an open, grateful heart.”
…And finally from a husband and wife team..
The Passion of Mary: An Untold Story of Advent, by Andrew Bowen in collaboration with his wife… “What conversations, what thoughts, what interactions could our Mothers and Fathers of The Church have had? From Mary and Joseph to Elizabeth, Zechariah, and even the angel Gabriel, the possibilities are examined in this book and beautifully woven through Scripture.”