Word to the Wise

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - Dec. 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe

[Zech 2:14-17, or Rev 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab and Luke 1:26-38, or Luke 1:39-47,1352]
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the Lord. Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they shall be his people, and he will dwell among you, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. [Zechariah]

     Among the many reported "apparitions" of Mary, certainly the one that is known as Our Lady of Guadalupe ranks as one of the best known and most popular, at least in the western hemisphere!  Here in Texas, U.S.A., her image is to be found not only in every Catholic church, but on all kinds of surfaces from kitchenware to key chains.  Her image has been carried into battles and labor strikes.  The image itself has been subjected to all kinds of examination and analysis and the original "tilda" on which the image appears is the subject of millions of visits by devoted faithful in Mexico City every year.  She is many things to many people.
     For some, she is a great sign of God's loving care for all those who are under oppression from poverty or political causes.  For others, she has a more individual appeal.  She  appears as a humble mestizo woman known as la morenita (the little brown woman) and represents all humble Hispanic peoples on this side of the planet!  
     The scriptures for this liturgical celebration seem, however, to focus on another feature of the image:  she is pregnant!  Zechariah speaks of God coming to dwell with God's people.  Revelation speaks of the triumphant birth of the Child destined to rule all nations.  Both gospel selections from the Gospel According to Luke speak to pregnancy and God's intervention in human history.  This is the "Advent" significance of the feast.  Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated every day in the United States and Mexico but this feast appears in Advent and speaks to the Child within Mary whose birth will soon be celebrated.  Whatever significance may be given to the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, her role as the mother of Jesus is central in every way.  She is awaiting his birth, as do all family members when Mom is expecting.  She is in every way, Our Lady of Advent!  AMEN


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