This is the Second Sunday of Advent and also December 8th the solemn feast of the Immaculate Conception. While we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent today, the holy day of the Immaculate Conception is transferred to tomorrow, Monday, December 9th.
Our country is dedicated to the protection of Our Lady under the title of the Immaculate Conception. In this dogma of the Church we hold that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, had no stain of sin in her even from the first moment of her conception. Mary is the pure and spotless virgin who gives birth to the Son of God, our Savior. May Mary be our guide during this Advent season. She willingly says yes to the angel and conceives through the
power of the Holy Spirit. May we, too, say yes to our God and find him present in our lives every day.
This week we also honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12th. This is a powerful and wonderful feast. The Virgin Mary appears to Juan Diego, a poor peasant, in Mexico. She tells him to go to the bishop and have him build a church on this spot. The bishop needs some proof and Juan Diego returns with an armful of roses in his poncho or tilma. These roses do not bloom in December in
Mexico. That would seem to be miracle enough. But on the inside of the tilma is a most beautiful image of Mary as a young girl pregnant with the child Jesus. This is a very short version of the story which has many layers of meaning for all of us today. May we pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe that she guide us today, that she be with all women who are about to give birth and that we truly appreciate the gift of life that God gives us.
Advent moves very quickly. May the Blessed Virgin Mary help us to watch, wait and be well prepared to receive her Son, Jesus, now and at his Second Coming at the end of time.
[ The Parish Bulletin for 12/08/2013 can be obtained here. ]