We are entering the second week of our journey through this time of Advent to meet Christ at His coming to us on Christmas. Our Advent retreat helps us to open and focus our hearts on the Incarnation. This great mystery of God’s love to humanity is expressed in assuming the human nature by Logos, the second person of the Trinity, and by His coming to us in the form of an infant child. This was such a tremendous moment that the voices of the choirs of angels broke through the skies with the joyful song of glory announcing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will”. The hope of thousands of years of waiting was fulfilled with the child born in a stable in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mother Mary and her most chaste spouse, Joseph. This is such a great mystery that only a glimpse can be reflected in the joy of a couple welcoming their newborn child. So we can only imagine the joy that filled the hearts of Mary and Joseph when Jesus, the Emmanuel, was born into the world.
During this second week of Advent, on the liturgical calendar we celebrate two feast days of Mary. On December 8th we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and on December 12th we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Through these celebrations we honor Our Lady Mary who is the model of the Church, and the model of how we should live our own lives in response to God’s abundant graces. As the Church teaches us, Mary is the one who gave us Jesus Christ as His mother, but she also is the one who leads us to Christ as our own mother. She fulfilled this role especially during the time of Advent when she entered the journey with her husband Joseph to Bethlehem, the town of his ancestor King David. Mary is on the journey of faith with us. As we, she also awaits the birth of her child Jesus. Therefore, these two celebrations this coming week are a great opportunity for each of us to join her and Joseph on their journey. To allow her to take us with her to Bethlehem, and let our hearts be enlightened and filled with the warmth of God’s love and peace that comes to us in the infant baby Jesus.