December 12, 2013

Madre Ssma. de Guadalupe

December 12, 2013:   Our Lady of Guadalupe

Readings
  • Zec 2:14-17  I'm coming to dwell among you.  Many shall join themselves to the Lord and be his people.  The Lord stirs forth from his holy dwelling.
  • Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab  Sign:  woman clothed with the sun, moon under her feet, with crown of stars, laboring to give birth.  Red dragon stood before her to devour the child.  She gave birth to a son destined to rule the nations.  He was caught up to God; she fled.  “Salvation, power, God's Kingdom, the Anointed's authority have come.”
  • Jdt 13:18bcde, 19  "You are the highest honor of our race."  Blessed are you, daughter, above all women, and blessed be God.  Those who tell God's might won't forget your deed of hope.
    Wordle: Readings 12-12-13
  • Lk 1:26-38  Gabriel / virgin Mary:  “Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you.  Don't be afraid; you'll bear a son and name him Jesus.  God will give him David's throne; he'll rule forever.”  “How?” “God's power.  The child will be the Son of God.  Elizabeth has also conceived in her old age; nothing is impossible for God.”  “I'm the Lord's handmaid.  May it be done.”
  • Lk 1:39-47  Mary traveled to Zechariah's house.  When Elizabeth heard Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth cried, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  How can the mother of my Lord come to me?  When I heard you, my son leaped.  Blessed are you who believed what God told you.”  Mary said, “My soul proclaims God's greatness.”
Word of the day
tenderness (from Pope's message, homily, exhortation excerpt, and Our Lady of Guadalupe)
Pope Francis, Person of the Year
  • Message to the Americas for today's feast:  Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego with a mestiza's face.  Mary is close to her children; accompanying us, sharing our joys, hopes, and sorrows.  She embraces all people of the Americas.  America is called to be a land of generosity, where peoples come together, prepared to accept human life from the womb to old age, to welcome immigrants, the poor, and the marginalized.  Open your arms, like her, with love and tenderness.
  • Homily:  When parents speak to their children, they become children, with a child's voice and manner, lowering themselves to the child's world because parents' love needs to be close.  Similarly, God came down to become one of us (synkatábasi,  God's condescension).
God, like parents, says ridiculous things to his children:  "you're a worm, but I love you."  Hear what he says and how.  Do what he does and says, as he says it:  with love, tenderness, condescension towards people.  God draws near to us as to Elijah, with “a sound of silence” proper to love.  He becomes small to make me strong, dies so I might live.  At this noisy time, be silent to hear the music of God's language of love, nearness, and tenderness.
Yes to new relationships:  With enhanced communication means, it's a challenge to find ways to live together, encounter, support, and show solidarity.  To join others is healthy; to be self-enclosed, selfish.  Overcome suspicion, fear of losing privacy, and defensiveness.  Many escape to isolation or a few friends, renouncing the Gospel's social aspect; just as some want Christ without flesh and the cross, they want systems to provide their relationships—but the Gospel tells us to encounter others face to face, with their physical presence, pain, pleas, and joy.  Faith in the incarnate Son is inseparable from self-giving, community, service, and reconciliation.  God's Son, by becoming flesh, called us to a revolution of tenderness. 
Respond to people’s thirst for God, lest they try to satisfy it with alienating solutions or a disembodied Jesus demanding nothing regarding others.  Let them find a spirituality offering healing, liberation, life, and peace.  Genuine spirituality is incarnate, relating personally with God, Christ, Mary, and the saints.  Devotions are fleshy, with faces, fostering relationships.  Some are attracted to a spirituality divorced from community, a theology detached from responsibility for people. 
Show that fleeing from a personal relationship with God, that commits us to serve, is no answer.  Keeping apart from others, or flitting from one place or task to another, is crippling.  Help people realize they need to encounter others with the right attitude, esteeming them, finding Jesus in their faces, voices, and pleas.  Learn to suffer when attacked or met with ingratitude. 
The way to relate to others which heals is contemplative community:  love capable of seeing our neighbor's sacredness, of finding God in every person, of tolerating life's nuisances by clinging to God's love, of opening our heart to God's love and seeking people's happiness.  We're called to live as the salt of the earth, light of the world, witnessing to life together faithful to the Gospel.  Don’t be robbed of community!  (2.II, 87-92; pp. 71-75)
      Reflections
      • Creighton:  God dwells among us and calls us to our role in the kingdom.  Let's help each other see how God empowers us.
      • RC.net:  John heralded the Messiah's coming in the womb and at the Jordan:  "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."  When people see us loving enemies, forgiving, and compassionate, they're drawn to the Gospel. 
      • Universalis:  Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.
        Music, mostly for the feast
          Apparel
          • "Sun" tie, "Star" tie pin:  woman clothed with the sun and crown of stars (Revelation reading), tilma given to St. Juan Diego
          • Angel pin:  Gabriel (gospels)
          • White shirt:  color of the day
          • Blue windbreaker:  "Blessed Mother blue"
          Dress your life!


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