As a child I used to love playing “SUPER TRUMP” card games . . . . . . . alas, they were simpler times, when the use of the “TRUMP” word meant a child’s card game, and wouldn’t have us engaging in stories of a certain U.S. President’s antics!! The “SUPER TRUMP” card game used to list technical details of ships & aircraft, and you would play against someone with the aim of gaining the most cards by listing your vessel’s/ aircrafts superior capabilities (be it gross tonnage, speed, crew members, etc).

Sometimes we can fail to see the beauty of the bigger picture and be hesitant to embrace the message of hope that surrounds us. In today’s Gospel, Joseph (and Mary), face with hesitation the news of the impending birth of the child Jesus. The ‘scandal’ facing Joseph is that he is to raise a child which is not his own. The ‘scandal’ will be that the child will be thought to have come about by an ‘irregular’ or ‘pre-marital’ union. Joseph must show great faith, decency and commitment in agreeing to go ahead and support the bewildered yet faithful Mary. This was not a moment of euphoric, ecstatic, pious Joy for either Joseph or Mary. Both Mary and Joseph are frightened, alone and poor.

Yet the Trump card is the birth of a child. This surely trumps any irregularity of a child born out of the socially accepted norm of a union prior to birth of children. This Christmas, let’s see the beauty in our own lives that God has given us. Yes, there will be moments when aspects of my life will be ‘irregular’ or outside of generally accepted norms I might have envisaged, but the Trump card of my life is seeing the bigger picture and how God interacts in my life giving relationships that allows me to grow. These loving relationships trump all of my initial anxieties.

Fr. Tom

Rev Fr Tom Stevens