Stories of Hope – December 12

12 12 Lady of Guadalupe

’Where are you going?’ asks Mary of Juan Diego. He is stopped in his tracks. He leaves his ‘important’ plans and becomes her messenger: Build a church where the cries of the poor and the oppressed will be heard.

Guadalupe’s significance is both word and symbol. She provides the answers to the prayers of the faithful people: ‘God is with you!’ Her very appearance, as one of the poor, aligns her with them. Guadalupe’s proclamation can be seen as God’s option for the poor.

‘Where are you going?’ echoes in the life of God’s poor to this present day. -Arturo Perez

This is another one of those feast days that Lutherans have traditionally skipped over, but Juan Diego’s vision of St. Mary visiting him in Mexico remains a powerful story for many Christians around the world.  Indeed, Diego’s encounter with this vision has led many to claim similar visions in Lourdes, Fatima, and even in an underpass in Chicago.

We can get lost in the trappings of “did this really happen,” and in doing so miss the bigger picture of these stories.  There is a longing deep in the heart of humanity to know that we are not alone, that God is “for us,” especially if we’re finding few things “for us” in this life.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the signs Christians have pointed to in reminding humanity that God is, indeed, for us. With us. Calling us to be better, to listen to those whose voices cry out at the margins, and to act in God’s love.

  1. Where are people needing God’s assuring presence in your city today? What can you do to extend the assurance that God hears them?
  2. How are you needing to experience that God is “for you” in these Advent days? What signs are out there that show God’s enduring presence and love?

Let us pray. God of miraculous signs, today we give thanks for the fact that you are with us.  Remind us that you stand with the poor and the oppressed, and help us to stand with them, too.  And in the ways that we feel helpless, stand with us.  In the strong name of Christ we pray. Amen.

 

All italicized quotes, poems, and prayers come from An Advent Sourcebook (Liturgy Training Publications/Chicago, IL, 1986).

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