December 12, 2014
Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe
Gospel Lk 1:26-38
“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son”
In our journey, it helps if we have a road map. We need direction and purpose. We want to find meaning in our life. And we want to know if what we do or what happens to us makes sense at all.And of course we want the road map to come from God.
I once experienced travelling abroad to meet a friend whom I have not seen for almost 20 years. I had doubts and fear about the trip as I was not sure how the encounter would be. Is she the same person that I knew before? Will she recognize me as I am now? I listened to my heart, and I knew that I missed her so much and longed to see and hug her. Then the fear was replaced with excitement to see my dear friend. The preparations I did just to be able to see her were demanding of my time, from visa preparation to itinerary. These preparations were necessary to make my 10-day trip worthwhile. Moreover, I was willing to spend just to see her, and she was willing to give her time and space just to be with me. Finally, on the day of my arrival at the airport, I noticed that she waited for me with much excitement. The desire to see each other was enough to make the trip possible and meaningful. My friend and I enjoyed each moment that we were together. We both felt that God gave us the road map to follow then, and everything went well.
God had a roadmap for Mary to follow. It came with God’s announcement of the birth of Jesus through Gabriel. Mary was asked to behold or consider God’s plan. She was made to look at things deeply, to pass through the Advent season of her heart, of inner preparation and waiting. Mary had to prepare her inner self and her womb for conception. The idea of her conceiving a child was an unusual as there was no medical explanation for it, only divine! A single woman who receives the news that she is pregnant can surely relate to this experience of Mary. How can this be? She needs to have the right disposition. Mary had difficulty comprehending the announcement. She was afraid, but she longed for God. Through God’s overshadowing power, she felt assured of God’s presence all the way as He never abandoned her, so she surrendered all to God. She waited until she gave a gift to the world through the birth of her Son, Jesus, God-with-us!
The road map to Christmas is not easy, and we can be misled. They say that the road to Christmas is the longest and the most stressful season of the year because there are many external preparations to do. We must look at the road map which the church provides for us, through the liturgies that challenge us to prepare the way of the Lord. Mary is giving us an example. We are surely invited to follow the same road map that the angel presented to Mary, the less travelled road of Advent, that of inner preparation and waiting. I am surely one of those who need to choose the road map that will lead me to what I long to encounter this Christmas by creating a space for silent reflection and by listening to an angel saying to me “Behold ….”
1. What am I to behold, take a look at, or consider doing this Advent?
2. What preparations do I need to do? For whom?
3. In my journey to Christmas, what sort of greeting or announcement do I long to hear?
Ma. Pilar M. de Guzman
Guidance Counselor, Grade School