Today's Gospel of the Annunciation to Mary caused me to look back on the Christmas story in a different way. All of these people who received the astounding news that Heaven was stirring on earth were just minding their own business. The Bible doesn't say that they were praying (except for Zechariah, but even he was doing his priestly "job," not engaging in private devotions). Mary is often looking up from her work basket full of wool to find the Angel of the Lord there with a message that would change history. The shepherds were "keeping night watch" in the fields. Herod was being a selfish tyrant (as usual). Joseph was asleep!
Nobody seems to have been deliberately doing something unusual by way of seeking God. God was finding them where they were. And for most of them (Zechariah, Mary, the shepherds, Joseph), even though they were just minding their own business, there was a place inside where they were alert, attentive, receptive and responsive enough to "hear the Word of God and keep it."