Friday, December 12, 2014

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron Saint of many places in the Americas, by the name of Guadalupe or the Immaculate Conception. Mary’s “self-portrait” on St. Juan Diego’s tilma is of the Immaculate Conception – the woman clothed with the sun and standing on the moon. Today’s readings overlap with the readings we read on Dec. 8th.

My own thoughts of Our Lady of Guadalupe are impacted heavily by my eighth grade teacher. I remember her talking about her own affinity for Guadalupe. I recall her saying that she liked how Guadalupe was strong and powerful, which weren’t Marian traits that had been emphasized in her youth. In fact, Quyen’s reflection from Wednesday of “demonstrating power without undo harshness” reminded me of this image of Mary. So many Saints, and the (lowercase s) saints I know exhibit this trait. They are powerful and strong, protective and resolute, driven by a passionate love and courageous Gospel vision.

In the reading from Revelation, the loud voice in heaven announces that salvation and power have come, and yet the dragon continues to pursue the woman (and does so into the following chapters). To me this speaks to my own feeling of conflict as we prepare to hail the coming of the Prince of Peace. In the midst of injustice and brokenness, this Advent is once again an opportunity to proclaim that victory has come, in spite of evidence to the contrary. Our Lady told Juan Diego not to worry, but to trust.

Kids give such life to Christmas, but Christmas is not child’s play. Advent challenges us to stand against all that threatens to overcome us and have the courage of Mary.

Where do I stand? How can I take courage or consolation from the thought that Our Lady stands for me and with me, loving me with the heart of her son?

Reflected by Jason Coito

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