December 12, 2010: 3rd Sunday of Advent
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. …They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those of fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God” (Isaiah 35:1-2, 3-4)
On this 3rd Sunday of Advent, we also celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The reading from Isaiah was not chosen because of Mary’s feast, but it is a perfect reading when we think of St. Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican. Mary appeared to Juan and asked him to go to the bishop and request that a shrine be built on the site of her appearance at Tepeyac in Mexico. Juan felt very unworthy to make such a request of the bishop. However, Mary assisted Juan with a beautiful bouquet of roses that fell from his tilma (coat) during his meeting with the bishop. This was miraculous for roses did not bloom at that time of the year, and an exact image of Mary, as she appeared to Juan, was on the cloth of his tilma. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is that of a pregnant woman. How appropriate! Soon we will celebrate Mary giving birth to Jesus on the feast of Christmas.
Advent is a season of quiet and waiting.
We are invited to listen to God speaking in our hearts as Juan Diego surely did.
During this Advent, pray in a quiet place. Try to empty your mind of thoughts and allow God to speak through your heart. Just sit quietly in God’s presence.