Jesus' Humble Beginnings Inspire Us to Follow Him

Posted: 12/13/2013

Pat McEntee, Associate Vocation Director, Glenmaryby Pat McEntee,
Associate Vocation Director

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him, nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."—Jn 1:1-5

Our Advent anticipation of God's entry into the world in a very real way will lead us to the season of Christmas—although with the most humble of beginnings you could imagine. Who would think that an event so important to human history would take place in a stable, with God himself spending his first night in the world in a trough meant for feeding animals?

By Jesus' example of humble beginnings and humility, we too are called to be humble servants of God. We are asked to take the most important thing we have, our very lives, and make them into ones that provide hope, joy and love to all the world.

After all, that's what Jesus did.

As we know, the difficulties Jesus faced were not limited to the time of his birth. His family had to flee the country for his safety only to return much later. We don't learn much in the Gospels about Jesus' adolescence or early adulthood life. Aside from a small episode about him as an adolescent, the next time we encounter him in the Scriptures he is entering into his public ministry, which lasted three years. During this time, he continued to demonstrate humility.

And he taught us one very important lesson: to pray. In every major period of his life, Jesus went off to pray. In his prayer, he always asked what the Father's will was for him. Following his example, our own quiet prayer time is necessary to be certain that we are doing God's will.

Very few of us can claim to have begun our lives on earth as humbly as Jesus did. However, you have undoubtedly found yourself in a humbling situation. Perhaps at some point in your life, you have been at the mercy of others or had nowhere to go but up.

What was your humbling experience? Did you find a way to emerge, learn and grow from it? Did you find that you might have been called to something greater as a result of it?

If nothing else, Jesus' birth shows us that God's purpose for each life is real and should be paramount. Jesus overcame numerous obstacles from the day he was born until the day he died. Every obstacle was met with prayer and perseverance with the ultimate goal in mind.

As Catholics, we are asked to constantly discern what God has in store for us in this world. Praying—truly asking God what step to take next—and listening for the answer are of utmost importance.

I and the rest of the Glenmary Vocation Office team wish you a very Merry Christmas. Know that you are prayed for daily as you continue to seek out the best way to serve God.

Perhaps that is by following a religious vocation with Glenmary. Contact us today if you'd like to take the next step toward that vocation.