Advent 2016

Our Lady of Guadalupe - December 12th

Zec 2: 14-17 // Jdt 13: 18-19 // Lk 1; 26-38

“The Lord be with you”

How many times do we hear that phrase without taking into account just what we are hearing!  We simply, almost automatically, respond: “And with your spirit”.

The good news of God dwelling with us, God taking up our cause, our human situation, God standing up for us, emptying himself, assuming the condition of a slave for love of us, is so astounding -  longed for by generation after generation of believers - and yet to us it seems to be beyond our comprehension, almost trite, insignificant!

Can we imagine Mary’s reaction to those same words spoken by God’s messenger, announcing the most momentous news of all time!  God is with me, God has chosen me!

Today, as God’s holy People we are invited and challenged to announce in word and deed that same good news wholeheartedly, full throat, with all our being: God has not forgotten us, God is truly with us.  All of us, not simply those of us who gather in prayer to give thanks, to recognize God’s sovereignty.  God is also with those whom society has left out, has relegated, has excluded and diminished.

To the extent that we recognize the truth of St Augustine’s affirmation:  “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you”, to that same degree will we be able to understand our mission to be more fully united with God, more fully divine, through our care and concern for those most in need. 

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrated at the heart of this Advent season, is precisely the opportunity to recognize ourselves as daughters and sons of God, under Mary’s maternal intercession, called to incarnate the good news announced and accepted joyfully by God’s whole People generation after generation:  The Lord be with you!

Arthur Purcaro, OSA
Office for Mission and Ministry