December 12, 2014
Mark Latta
Creighton's School of Dentistry
click here for photo and information about the writer


Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Lectionary: 690A

Zechariah 2: 14-17 OR Revalation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
Judith 13:18bcde, 19
Luke 1:26-38 OR Luke 1:39-47

Praying Advent

Pope Francis' message to the U.S.
last year on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today is the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe honoring Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It commemorates the appearance of Mary in 1531 to St. Juan Diego near Mexico City. He carried a message, at Mary’s request, to build a church on the Hill of Tepeyac.
The Gospel reading today recounts the appearance of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, a young teen betrothed to Joseph of the House of David. When the angel told Mary of her selection to bear the Son of the Most High she was troubled and I’m sure in grave doubt. As the angel told her of the work of the Holy Spirit and the fact of Elizabeth’s conception in old age Mary gave herself to God’s will.

One of the great gifts of Ignatian spirituality is the use of imagination to place ourselves in the presence of Jesus, of God, or perhaps the Saints. Let us use our imagination and place ourselves with this young teen woman who is told she will be pregnant without knowing relations with a man. Can we picture her concern? Can we imagine her fear at being ostracized with the scandal? Can we see the doubt and tension on her face as she confronts God’s will for her? Yet supported by her faith in God and the power of the Holy Spirit she declares “may it be done to me according to your word”. Mary responded to the angel and to the manifestation of another miracle in the form of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.

Mary’s example is a light to us in today’s world, in today’s times.¬† While we may not have the direct intervention of an angel are we attentive to the movements of the Holy Spirit in our hearts? Can we quiet the cacophony of distractions in our world long enough to listen to the will of God for us? Are we intentionally looking for God in all things and all people to catch those Elizabeth-like miracles that are testimony to God’s continued and active presence in our own spheres in the world today?

I this Advent season let Mary’s example inspire us to become quiet and centered so we may listen to God’s will for us. Let us be able to proclaim¬† “may it be done to me according to your will”. Amen!

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