Monday, December 11, 2017
Advent 2017: December 11
The secret is the Prokofiev!
God saw the world falling to ruin because of fear and immediately acted to call it back with love. God invited it by grace, preserved it by love, and embraced it with compassion.
Peter Chrysologus, Fifth Century
"Where are you going?" asks Mary of Juan Diego. He is stopped in his tracks. He leaves his "important" plans and becomes her messenger Build a church where the cries of the poor and the oppressed will be heard. The bishop hears these gospel-laden words with shock and disbelief. Signs, tangible signs, to know if this is true: That is his demand. But the words that the Indian brings are the answer. The church must turn its institutional attention from its needs to listen to the solitary voice of one poor man. It is a voice caught up in cultural traditions, old Indian ways, unpurified beliefs. Juan Diego's nervous intensity comes not from self-interest but from the faith that his voice and prayer have been heard by God. The words he speaks are the answer to his prayers.
What Mary has asked of the bishop is not meant to cause a division among the servants of the Lord. It is not a condemnation of strategies or theologies. Rather, it is a word of direction to move from the status quo operations of the day and to build up a place where the prayers, the cries, the heartbreak of people can be heard. The place becomes symbolic of the fact that a mestizo church emerges from these birth sufferings of a conquered people. The temple is symbolic of the age-old faithful word of God: to be with the people.
Guadalupe's significance is birth word and symbol. She provides the answers to the prayers of her faithful people: "God is with you!" Her very appearance, as one of the poor, aligns her with them. Guadalupe's proclamation can be seen as God's option for the poor.
"Where are you going?" echoes in the life of God's poor to this present day.
In an age which offers a variety of escapes from the human condition, Christians are more than ever a sign of contradiction. They continue to believe that the search for God must begin with the acceptance of the human. They believe this because it is in the stable of humanity that God has come in search of us.
In the human experience of Jesus, God became available to us as the depths of human life. Thus, a Christian believes that the experience of ultimate meaning comes not from a leap out of the human condition, but a journey through its dark waters.
Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap.
Posted by Rmj at 1:25 PM