Moving our monastery just before the beginning of Advent of course, brings to mind that Mary and Joseph too were on the move.
Leaving behind all that is familiar….familiar faces, familiar places, even leaving behind the familiar routines of the day - all security thrown to the wind. What’s going to happen next? Who will help us?
We knew we had a bed to sleep in, even if it was unmade because we were carrying our bedding with us, but much was unfamiliar, unchartered territory.
We all had to decide too what was precious to ourselves and our community and what could be left behind. For some of us, it was experienced as a layering process, peeling off one layer at a time, giving away one thing, throwing away something else - until the essential was left.
Mary and Joseph knew what was essential, without any layering process. The seed of life growing inside Mary. Their attention was totally focused on protecting that seed of life life within her…..food for the journey, blankets to keep Mary and her unborn child warm.
We too need to remember the seed of new life that we are carrying to birth at Christmas, that which is absolutely essential to us, the seed of Christ within us, there by virtue of our baptism.
We need to surround Him with the things that keep him alive and well within us and discard, give away or recycle that which may be unhelpful or simply surplus.
We need to develop the spirituality of Mary and Joseph - refugees on a journey to find a place to bring Jesus to birth.