Monday, December 12, 2016
Reflection for Monday, December 12, 2016
Third Monday of Advent (Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe)
OR RV 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB
JDT 13:18BCDE, 19
LK 1:26-38 OR
The pink candle is Gaudete, translated “Rejoice”. This week we rejoice as we prepare the way of the Lord. The time is near for us to proclaim with the faithful prophet Simeon: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation,which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel (Luke 2:29-32).
Today we are given options for our readings from Zechariah to Revelation or the Annunciation to the Visitation. Which text provides you with more joy, or a joyful hope? In these turbulent times that have existed before and will surely exist again, it is tempting to wonder if fullness of joy is indeed possible.
John on Patmos heard Yahweh proclaim: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed” (Revelation 12:10). Mary and Elizabeth both felt and experienced the glory of the Lord in their flesh and must have wondered how they were chosen to be centerfolds in the story of salvation history. Simeon witnessed the great joy of seeing clothed in flesh the newborn babe who would become the Savior of the world.
It occurs to me every once in awhile that to encounter Mary, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna, Joseph and those others whom God chose to be witnesses of this tangible, new and vulnerable life that came from above, means we must also delve deeply into both their faithfulness and their longsuffering. As the story goes, Elizabeth was barren and perhaps distressed that she would never bear life into the world. Mary and Joseph were likely ostracized by their faith communities after Mary was found to be unwed and pregnant. And the Holy Family had to journey, first to Bethlehem and eventually into a foreign land, Egypt. For the world would try its best to understand what was happening therein. And yet it did not see, for it was hidden in the most unusual of places. This poor migrant family would be stowed away in a manger stall “because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Sound familiar?
Can we make room in our hearts this third week of Advent to be expectant like Mary, Elizabeth and Simeon? Do we have the courage to believe it possible for Yahweh to complete our joy? And in the midst of these still turbulent and ever-trying times, might we become aware of the glory of God in our midst. Let us see Jesus our newborn Savior in the faces of refugees, migrants, the lonely and abused. Perhaps we might find room in our hearts to birth forth once more God’s unexpected glory.
And this is also the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We are told that Mary appeared to Juan Diego, a native of Mexico and the first indigenous saint of the Americas. Maybe we can whisper a prayer to Mary to intercede for all people of the Americas to grow in wisdom as questions of justice arise for those native to this land.
Christy Hicks is the Campus Minister in the Griesedieck Complex.