Year A - Christmas 1 - Blessed Body 
December 29, 2013
We ought be careful about equating suffering with death. Suffering came to Mary with the announcement; it is not easy to say, “Let it be.” Suffering came to Joseph, “What am I do do with Mary?” Suffering was present with decisions to be made by Shepherds and Magi. Suffering was with Rachel.2 and the populace in general. Suffering continues; it is not just about death.
Suffering is never just a test to pass. It is true to the bone or it is not suffering. It does not have an automatic ability to grant compassion. For all too many, even small suffering brings great bitterness.
Folks in that day, like today, are held in the slavery of fear, but not to death—to survival. For now it is enough to remember birth-pangs and all that needs pondering and treasuring about this one small event of birth in the midst of a sea of trouble. The future proceeds from every beginning and new beginning. It proceeds from your birth as well as Jesus’. Honor birth. Tomorrow is sufficient for its time. Right now, birth is sufficient for this time.