We are in the season of Christmas, we remember Mary, chosen by God to give birth to Jesus. Yes, God was with Mary. God was with Mary in the annunciation, the announcement by the angel to Mary. God was with Mary through her pregnancy and the birth. God was with Mary as she raised Jesus, her son, God’s son. God was with Mary when she watched him die on the cross. God was with Mary when she waited in the upper room with the disciples for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not give us further information about her, but I believe God was with Mary the rest of her life, drawing her in to be with God, and eventually reunited with her son in eternity. Today of course we are remembering that Mary received the call from God to be the God bearer, the one who would carry God’s baby in her womb to maturity. She was to be the Holy Mother. But it would take 9 long months of waiting and carrying before her baby was born. You know we live in an age when speed seems to be paramount. We are told that the latest version of any program will be faster. So whatever internet service we have, there is one that is faster. Why wait 20 seconds for something to happen when you can get it in 10 seconds. Yet some things cannot get faster. Humans need 9 months in the womb and technology cannot change it. Mary had to wait those 9 long months. I have given birth 3 times so know that pregnancy is a long time and as it moves near the end, it is hard work. Your body gets tired, your back aches and you wonder what the birth will be like and when kit will come upon you. Mary might not have had help from anyone as she was not even married during the pregnancy. Waiting is hard, even if you know what you ae waiting for has an end. This year has been one with much waiting. Mary’s nine months are a bit like our nine months of dealing with the covid virus. Of course, one major difference is that pregnancy has a known end whereas we do not know when there will be an end to the menace of the covid virus. Yes, there are vaccines, and that is wonderful news too, but the end of the pandemic is not yet in sight. I am sure Mary had worries, concerns just as you have about your safety and the safety of those you love. We all have these concerns. How do we go forward at such a time? I suggest we look at Mary for inspiration. Mary was called by God to a special ministry. She was not a leading figure but a young girl in an ordinary village and engaged to a working man. No elitism here! Just as Mary responded with a “Yes, here am I, the servant of the Lord” to God’s call I suggest you too can respond positively to God’s call. God is calling you, has been calling you. God calls each of you into a ministry depending on the gifts God has given you. Only you have those specific gifts and God wants you to use them in all the ways you can. God also calls each of you as a member of the community or communities you are in. This community or any community can help you discern what God’s is calling you to do or to be. Your job or your career may be your call, your volunteer ministry may be your call. You may be called to help one person once or many times.