Thursday of the Second Week of Advent | Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Intention: That all people will hear in the story of the birth of the Christ Child the call to increase our attention to the needs of children throughout the world.

Today’s Gospel | Luke 1:39-47

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

A Short Reflection for the Second Thursday of Advent

Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, honoring the miraculous appearances in 1531 of the Blessed Mother to a man named Juan Diego near Mexico City, Mexico.  For many, the image of a lowly peasant standing in wonder at the feet of the Mother of God speaks powerfully to Mary’s benevolent and intercessory role in the lives of all of God’s children, especially the most ordinary and humble.  Always accessible, always approachable, she continues to be what God first called her to be: the instrument of God’s entry into our daily lives, and a model for all who would seek to do the same.  It is for this reason that the De La Salle Brothers have a special devotion to Our Lady.  As Saint John Baptist de La Salle wrote, “If Mary received an abundance of grace, it was to share it with all those who would have recourse to her.”  This feast day, coming as it does in the midst of Advent, reminds us that the spirit of Christmas was born in Mary’s gift of self-abandonment that would lead to her Son’s ultimate and complete gift of self for our sake.  Advent is a time for us to contemplate how our own celebration of Christmas can bring us closer to live each day as givers.

Prayer

Eternal Father, another day of our journey lies before us, full of opportunities to proclaim your good news if we but open our eyes and our hearts.  And so we pray, make of us instruments of your light and strength as we move through life’s challenges.  May we live your Word and strive to bring its encouragement to sustain those who are in need.  In this Advent, help us to discover how to be a people of limitless faith and hope.  We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.