Guadalupe,Gaudete Sunday, and St. Lucy

Advent overload… in a good way! Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day was yesterday, as well as that time of year when the priest wears pink, and the third candle is lit. It was good to hear Fr. Marty ( a dominican who I travelled to Medjugorje with in 2008) say mass. He delivers his message so practically and passionately at the same time. He discussed the different comings of Christ. His original coming in Bethelehem, the second coming which could be at any moment, and the third coming- when he comes into each of our own hearts.  He pointed out that we have no control or say over Christ’s coming as a baby, or his coming to redeem the world. But, we do have control over his coming into our own hearts. We must welcome him back…day after day…sin after sin.It is a joyful day, gaudete Sunday, because we remember and rejoice of the victory in the word becoming flesh. If we return to that moment in the womb, where John leaps in joy at the sight of the Savior, we are reminded of  the pregnant Virgin.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the only Marian apparition that presents Mary as pregnant. There are some interesting notes about the flowers on her cloak. The flower of sun on her womb represents abundance, the cross shaped flowers  represent new life, and the mexican magnolia symbolized the still -beating heart of human sacrificial victims. This beauitful portrayal of Mary, seeped in rich Aztec culture, supports the message of this week of Advent. We wait patiently for the pain and suffering of Christ’s death to be wiped out with his return. We hope and rejoice in his abundance of grace in His Incarnation. We try and try everyday to welcome him into our hearts again and to open our eyes to His will.

Speaking of eyes, St. Lucy’s feast day is today, December 13th. This is a very special day for me and my family, because we received a special miracle after asking Lucy to pray with us. Lucy means “light.” This is so fitting for Advent and for this winter season. It was believed that this is the shortest day of the year, so many people celebrate that light will increase again as we head away from the winter solstice. Lucy has also been credited with many miracles. Long ago in Syracuse, Sicily the people sought the prayers of  St. Lucy during a famine. They believed that it was her aid in prayer that brought a cargo ship full of wheat to their rescue. The wheat is planted today and then is placed at the creche in honor of Christ’s birthplace, Bethlehem, “the house of bread” and His giving of Himself as Bread from Heaven.

We have many reminders in this pre- Christmas season. Let’s open our eyes, rejoice, and believe in that beating heart of Christ in his loving  mother’s womb.

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