Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

December 12, 2017 / By: Marta Pereira
 
The reading from the prophet Zachariah, one of the two passages offered for today, starts with the line “Sing and Rejoice…I am coming to dwell among you.”  These words resound in my heart when I think of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Although this is a recent feast in our liturgical calendar - added with the new translation of the English Missal, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe has become central for many of our communities. Today immigrants from many Latin American countries, not only in Minnesota but all around the nation, will gather to celebrate the promise of our Lady in her words to Juan Diego, “Am I not here, who is your Mother?” Besides the beautiful liturgies with offerings of flowers, there will be “serenatas,” songs, dances, plays and food to celebrate the faithful love of God which Mary has witnessed to us. It is a celebration that comes from the gratitude of those who, amid great uncertainty and suffering, remember that God is among us.

God indeed has dwelt among us. The apparition of the dark-skinned beautiful Lady to Juan Diego, the least of all, reminds us of God’s love and compassion to everyone, especially those who this world discards as the lowly, the poor, the different, the ignorant or the lonely.  Mary’s words, “Am I not here?”, resound with power today, reminding us of this faithful presence of God, which is the very thing we prepare for in Advent as we await the celebration of Christmas.

Whether or not you are able to celebrate with any of the local Latino communities today, the invitation is for all to remember that indeed our hearts should sing and rejoice with the faith and joy of Mary, because God is indeed present among us and has done great things.  And like Mary, we are invited to witness God’s love for all with concrete actions of welcome, tenderness and mercy.

Marta Pereira
Director, Office for Spirituality