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Second Sunday of Advent December 10, 2023
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Advent Season is already upon us. We have lit the
second purple Candle of the Wreath. It seems that time has
accelerated as today we already hear of the voice that cries
out in the desert, “prepare the way of the Lord.” In today’s
Gospel that voice is John the Baptist. We hear him say,
“One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to
stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized
you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
John the Baptist is the most immediate voice that
announces the coming of Jesus. But we also encountered
another that prepares the way and brings Jesus to us even
before we hear John’s voice. Last Friday, December 8th, we
celebrated the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed
Virgin Mary. Mary was prepared from before her birth to
be the spotless virgin that would be disposed to say “yes”
to God’s will. Even before the birth of Jesus, and before
His crucifixion, Mary was already made pure, as God
prepared a mother for himself. Mary was what we were to
be - pure and immaculate - unstained of the original sin.
As Mary was pregnant with Jesus when she visited her
cousin Elizabeth, she was able to bring the Lord Jesus with
her to a people waiting for redemption. John the Baptist
leapt for joy in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth. John, as
the voice, announces the Lord’s arrival to his mother which
moves her to declare Mary as the “Mother of my Lord.”
This coming Tuesday we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady
of Guadalupe. Once again, Mary brings Jesus to a people
waiting for redemption. In 1531 Mary was sent by God to
Mexico. Mary appeared pregnant with Jesus to Juan Diego.
Juan Diego was “John the Baptist” of his day, as he was
sent to announce the Virgin’s appearance and deliver her
message to the bishop. To a still very pagan land, Mary
proceeds in hast to the hill of Tepeyec to bring Jesus to us
once again. Upon Mary’s visit to Mexico more than 10
million people converted to the Catholic faith. Mary is
declared as Patroness of the Americas. Still today many go
on pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe to
see her image that she left on Juan Diego’s tilma. We have
a beautiful picture of our Mother Mary. We have a replica
of this image in our church. Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe,
continues to bring us to her Son. Mary, with child, is the
beautiful image of this season of Advent. As Jesus dwelt
for 9 months in Mary’s womb, growing and waiting to live
among us, so to, we desire for Jesus to live within our
hearts today. With the help of Mary, may Jesus grow within
each of us. May we, like Mary, John the Baptist, Elizabeth
and Juan Diego, embrace the announcement of Jesus’
coming and may we bring this good new to all we meet.
Let us prepare, let us wait in joyful hope for the coming of
our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Blessed Advent,
Fr. Steven Guitron
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