The virtue of the month for December in Conquest and Challenge is obedience. Some people may ask why we did not choose joy or peace or generosity with Christmas happening this month. The answer is simple – Christmastime shows us how important it is to obey God’s will. Think about it – Mary, Joseph and Jesus all lived the virtue of obedience. An angel appeared to Mary and asked her to be the mother of God. She said yes and obeyed God’s wishes, “ Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to his word.” Then we have Joseph. He found out Mary was pregnant and received a vision in a dream to believe and care for her. He obeyed this message from God and took Mary to Bethlehem.
Obedience sometimes is shown by simply accepting joyfully the circumstances God sends our way in life. The trip on the donkey for days could not have been enjoyable for a pregnant Mary or Joseph on foot, but I can’t imagine them grumpy and upset the whole way. They accepted the different steps in their journey with joy. When they arrived and could not find a room in the inn, I doubt Joseph got upset and yelled at the innkeeper. He saw the situation as what God allowed for a reason and accepted that. He made the best out of a tough situation and that made him stronger. We can also look at Jesus, who was obedient to his Father and became man. Jesus was the all powerful Son of God and he became a little baby in a manger. This is humbling and an example of obedience. If anyone could say that they knew better than their parents, it would have been Jesus. But he did not. He was obedient to Mary and Joseph. The Christmas story of obedience does not end there. We can see the wise men who followed a star (which can symbolize God’s will in our lives) and the shepherds who listened to the angels and went to the stable to see the newborn baby.
So how can we live this virtue of obedience during the month of December? We all need to obey the commandments from God first and foremost. We should obey the teachings of the church because they help us to discover God’s will for us. For example, the Church suggests we go to confession around Christmas and Easter. We need to listen to what God asks of us in prayer and in our hearts during the day. We need to especially obey our parents, like Jesus obeyed Mary and Joseph. Christmas has many opportunities for obedience or moments to go out of your way to help. If you keep your eyes and heart open, you will see many moments to be like Mary, Joseph and Jesus.