Thursday, December 12, 2013

Second Thursday of Advent: Expectant Joy

The story of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a well known one. We have of course our main character, the young Juan Diego, climbing the hill of Tepeyac just outside Mexico City, only to be approached by a young girl asking him to build a church on the site. In order to convince the Bishop, she fills Juan Diego’s tilma with roses, which, when dropped before the feet of the Bishop, reveals a beautiful image of the expectant young mother of Christ, La Virgen de Guadalupe!

As I start my Advent journey, I am struck by this image of our Blessed Mother. She chose to reveal herself to Juan Diego in the midst of her pregnancy, and the Church, in turn, chooses to honor this moment during our second week of Advent. In sitting with this image, I am drawn towards the expectant joy of a young mother, preparing for the coming of new life within her. After saying “yes,” Mary experiences her own nine month “Advent.” She waits, patiently, not knowing what to expect, wondering what this birth will bring. But in all her worry, anxiety and confusion, she waits with expectant joy.

As a young adult, so much of my future seems hazy. Where is God calling me vocationally? What relationships does He want me to explore? Who am I being called to be? Yet, in the midst of my own worry, anxiety and confusion, I find an unusual comfort in the image of the Expectant Mother. In her waiting, she had joy in knowing that God’s plan was unfolding before her. Maybe I too, need to sit with that expectant joy, trusting that God’s plan is already at work before me, I just need to wait. 

Reflected by Regina Galassi

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