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ALTAR CALL: Born into life of challenges

CHERYL HAREWOOD, [email protected]

ALTAR CALL: Born into life of challenges

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JESUS’ birth began in controversy and with challenges because He was born of a woman who was already betrothed to a man, and that man was not His father.

As a result, Joseph was worried, until his fears were allayed by an angel of God who told him not to be afraid to take Mary home as his wife, since she was impregnated through holy conception and was carrying the promised Saviour in her womb.

It was during the 5:45 a.m. service at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Six Roads, St Philip, last Friday, that Father Clement Paul told over 40 members of the congregation that just as Jesus’ birth was shrouded in confusion, with challenges and lots of struggles, our lives, our birth and family trees were sometimes similar.

Paul said it was his belief that since all people came into the world through a woman, “we should in fact be carrying our mother’s name and not that of our fathers”.

Speaking on the Catholics’ fourth day of Novena, he said: “We have not yet taken up the importance of the woman in childbirth. This was how Jesus came to be born – through a woman. And today, the moment we encounter God, we encounter a family – the family of God. That’s why we are not alone and no man is an island.”

He stressed that while Jesus was birthed through the family of Joseph and Mary, it was Mary who stood out.

Paul also reasoned that while many felt Joseph had doubts about Mary’s fidelity, it was more a case of Joseph believing he was not good enough to be part of this great mystery – his wife being chosen to birth God’s gift’s to mankind.

“Jesus’ story began with challenges, but how do we ourselves not accept the challenges that come with birth?” Paul asked the congregation.

“The moment we realise that a life is about to be birthed, we should say, ‘Praise God!’”

He cautioned the young people who were present about the importance of keeping their bodies pure until marriage, but told the adults that “young people who become pregnant before marriage, should not be placed under undue stress.

“We do not want a woman to bring a child into the world when she is not ready to do so, but we should praise God when conception takes place.”

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