Thursday, December 16, 2021

Third Thursday of Advent 2021: Las Posadas

Psalm 80:1-7

1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who sit enthroned between the cherubim,
    shine forth 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
    come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.
4 How long, Lord God Almighty,
    will your anger smolder
    against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
    you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us an object of derision to our neighbors,
    and our enemies mock us.
7 Restore us, God Almighty;
    make your face shine on us,
    that we may be saved.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 10:10-18

10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Las Posadas is a time of celebration in Mexico and the Southwest United States. It is an event of much significance with joy, protection and festivity. Las Posadas is always observed with much song and celebration. It is a novena of preparation for the feast of the Nativity. It begins on the 16th of December and ends on the 24th of December with the" Mass of the Rooster," the celebration of the Mass at Midnight.

Las Posadas has its origins, possibly, from Father Diego de Soria, a religious of the order of St. Augustine. He was an enthusiastic priest, introducing the devotion in Mexico, in the church of Alcoman, in 1587. It was the intention of this celebrated religious to contrast the celebration of the Aztecs in honor of their god of war, Huitzilopochtli. It was celebrated at the same time as the time of the Nativity, and was presenting many problems of attraction for the neophyte Christians.

Las Posadas of Father Diego became popular very quickly and extended to other churches in Mexico and the surrounding countryside. It then began to be celebrated in the homes of individuals.

It is the celebration of the "pilgrims" who go from house to house led by an angel who conducts the little donkey with the seated Virgin. She is accompanied by St. Joseph. They sing songs as they look for shelter, the masters of the houses open their doors and all who participate share in the buffet which the owners (innkeepers) of the house offer.

The people celebrate that the messiah will come again. It is the celebration of preparation for this coming. It is time to open the doors of our hearts to give shelter. How do we give shelter to Jesus? By the doing of good works. It is the preparation time for the doing and practicing of the virtues. It is a time for coming together with our neighbors. It is the occasion for gathering with our families and with those who live near us.--Fiestas Navideñas

The Guest
by Anonymous

Yet if His Majesty, our sovereign lord,
Should of his own accord
Friendly himself invite,
And say 'I'll be your guest to-morrow night,'
How should we stir ourselves, call and command
All hands to work! 'Let no man idle stand!
Set me fine Spanish tables in the hall;
See they be fitted all;
Let there be room to eat
And order taken that there want no meat.
See every sconce and candlestick made bright,
That without tapers they may give a light.

'Look to the presence: are the carpets spread,
The dazie o'er the head,
The cushions in the chairs,
And all the candles lighted on the stairs?
Perfume the chambers, and in any case
Let each man give attendance in his place!'

Thus, if a king were coming, would we do;
And 'twere good reason too;
For 'tis a duteous thing
To show all honour to an earthly king,
And after all our travail and our cost,
So he be pleased, to think no labour lost.
But at the coming of the King of Heaven
All's set at six and seven;
We wallow in our sin,
Christ cannot find a chamber in the inn.
We entertain Him always like a stranger,
And, as at first, still lodge Him in the manger.

MAGNIFICAT ANTIPHON: Our God will come from Lebanon with brightness as the light.


I acclaim the greatness of the Lord,

I delight in God my Savior,

who regarded my humble state.

Truly from this day on

all ages will call me blest.

For God, wonderful in power,

has used that strength for me.

Holy the name of the Lord!

whose mercy embraces the faithful,

one generation to the next,.

The mighty arm of God

scatters the proud in their conceit,

pulls tyrants from their thrones,

and raises up the humble.

The Lord fills the starving

and lets the rich go hungry.

God rescues lowly Israel,

recalling the promise of mercy,

the promise made to our ancestors,

to Abraham's heirs for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Our Father...

Divine and eternal Word, who descended from the Father into the heart of the ever Virgin Mary, you love for humankind leads you to Bethlehem where you are born at midnight in a poor and humble stable.

In truth, thousands of angels accompany you on this journey, and yet we, whom you came to save and lead to that Bethlehem of eternal purity, stubbornly turn away from you.

Forgive us, God and Lord of the universe, and help us to walk alongside Mary and Joseph, thus giving us the courage to fight against and triumph over every adversity.  Amen.

May God bless us, deliver us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.

Let us bless God/and give thanks.

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