Mary is alive! Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Today we are celebrating the memorial of St. Juan Diego, to whom our Lady appeared in 1531. Diego and his wife had been among the first to be baptized by the Franciscan missionaries in Mexico in 1524 when they were 50 years old. While on his way to morning mass one day, Juan Diego was visited by Mary.
In God’s Providence, at this point in our Advent journey we celebrate two great feasts of our Blessed Mother, The Immaculate Conception, and, in four days, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Holy Virgin is raised up for us as Model, Mother, and Guide on our way. The beauty and depth of these feasts illuminate our Advent hope!
Brief and contemporary inspiration focused on hope and family prayer will be delivered to your inbox! Articles include live video, written word, and links to resources that will lead you and your family deeper into faith.
Today’s reflection will consider an excerpt from a sermon offered by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. St. Bernard (1090-1153) was, to put it mildly, a twelfth-century force of nature. Abbot, mystic, reformer of the Benedictine order, a key figure in the emergence of the Cistercians, confidant to five popes, preacher of the Second Crusades, Doctor of the Church, and renowned for the quality of his teachings and a deep devotion to Mary.
Once I sat beside a blind but attentive beggar. Just by the sound of a coin dropping into his can, he could correctly decipher how much it was. Or, by the feel of paper money, he could tell a one-dollar bill from a 5-dollar bill.
I have been thinking about how much time everyone spends waiting. We wait with various feelings, anticipation, apprehension, and sometimes impatience. We wait for news, for babies to be born, for guests to arrive, and for children to come home. We wait for things to get better.
As mentioned in the first reading, a shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, an offshoot who clings to the roots of the family. Who is Jesse? Jesse is a descendent of Judah, one of the sons of Jacob, the son to whose lineage God promised a ruler, a ruler to whom the people would give obedience.