Luke 2:22, 39-40:
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Imagine for a moment that you are either Mary or Joseph in the Nativity Story. Both were sent Messages directly from the Archangel, Gabriel. Both had been shunned by their hometown villagers only to make the arduous 70-mile journey (by foot and on a donkey) to Bethlehem. Upon arrival (and while Mary was in labor), both found no hospitality with Joseph’s kinfolk in his own hometown. Both had to deliver their Baby in a cave on their own and, then, place their Newborn Son in a animal’s feeding trough. Both must have been exhausted at this point, but both were Faithful to God’s Calling on their Hearts. So Faithful, in fact, that they got up 8-days later to make the 5.52-mile journey to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised in the Jewish Temple. Their simple obedience would never be fully-rewarded in this world. Even at a joyous time of presenting their Newborn Son in the Temple, Simeon would come over and remind them about what must happen to the Messiah. But, for each and every step that they were taking in Faith in God, they were being Rewarded Eternally with God in Heaven. In fact, the Holy Family is celebrated continually in both Heaven and on earth – Forever. So, even when our simple obedience to Christ’s Callings in our lives seem to be bringing us challenge after challenge, we are to remember that none of our obedience in Christ goes unnoticed or un-Rewarded in Heaven. What our eyes cannot see will be revealed to us one day – sooner than we all think. This world is but a blink of an eye on the timescale known as Eternity. Let us all continue to do our best to be simply-obedient to Christ and to Trust the rest to Him! O come, O come Emmanuel!