It was within the midst of a colliding of worlds, a confrontation of two cultures – that of the Aztec community, the indigenous people of Mexico, and of the Spanish conquistadors of the early 16th century – that emerged both an image and a devotion that speaks prophetically to injustice and oppression, especially of the most vulnerable, when such political and cultural confrontation arises. Known affectionately by the Mexican people as la Morenita and la Guadalupana, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, whose feast we celebrate today, stands as a figure who quite literally embodies God-with-us-and-for-us, most especially during times of great struggle. It is an image of Mary who is pregnant, not yet having given birth to the Christ Child, and very much in a stance of waiting. Indeed, the figure of Our Lady of Guadalupe is an Advent image, one of not-yet, one of potential, one of pregnant pause.
Today’s readings help to frame the feast. In Zechariah we hear, “Silence, all humankind, in the presence of the Lord! For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.” Luke portrays the young maiden pausing as she asks her angelic messenger, “How can this be?” In times of struggle, in times of oppression, in times when worlds collide, we too might ask, like Mary, “How can this be?” And, like Mary, in such moments, we too may be called to take a pregnant pause and, in silence, listen for and trust in the God who stirs forth from his holy dwelling, who makes all things new, who is calling to us to live and to act in hope.
We are now well in the middle of the Advent season. Liturgically it is a time when we prepare for the great solemnity of Christmas, the great feast of the Incarnation which says to us and our world that God is in our midst, that God is stirring in God’s dwelling, in God’s dwelling among us, even as worlds collide, injustice abounds, and conflict ensues. How might we be challenged to take a pregnant pause with Our Lady of Guadalupe and to trust in silence that our God is stirring and is doing something new?
Rev. Kevin DePrinzio, OSA
Theology and Religious Studies
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent