Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! 
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.

— Zechariah 2, the first reading for Saturday 12/12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

  As I write this belated note to you, I’m aware that the Mexican community throughout the world is celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Cherished and revered by people who were, and continue to be (particularly in our nation) oppressed and marginalized, she brought hope and inspiration to the indigenous people. The story of Juan Diego is so profound not only because of the miraculous apparition but also because Our Lady’s words of restoration and hope enabled him to speak to power.  
    This is a quality that many of the Marian apparitions share. The blessed mother comes to people who are subjugated and forgotten, people whose voices have been stripped from them and who are in need of a tangible experience of God’s presence and blessing. Nuestra Madre Santa, the blessed mother, is in fact the patroness not only of Mexico but of all of the Americas. (Perhaps you’ve had an opportunity to visit the magnificent shrine to her in our nation’s capital whose many chapels depict her appearance through the lenses of dozens of cultural groups.)
    This Sunday we will hear the Magnificat. This astonishing proclamation by the young Mary in the face of the mystery of what is unfolding for and within her is a stunning recapitulation of the promises made to her ancestors. Her powerful witness  strikes me as such a perfect parallel to the meaning of Guadalupe and other apparitions, for Mary herself was a young, marginalized woman living among a deeply oppressed people. Through her, we are reminded who God is for us and what we are called to do on God’s behalf, particularly when the world feels heavy and challenging.
I’m so excited to be welcoming Annie Hayes as our homilist this weekend. And deep deepest thanks to Vic for breaking open the word this past Sunday; their preaching was incredibly powerful and inviting.
     The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday , a day in which we are invited into an experience of joy. Come ready to sing loud and raise your heart as Our Lady, and all our scriptures prayers and songs, remind us of the vast richness and providence of our God. Is doing something new and it is always breaking in on us . I rejoice that we have Christmas to remind us of this building reality, no matter what our circumstances. In gratitude for who you all are in the world,
Pastoral Director
An Ecumenical Catholic Community
cháris Χάρις khar’ece
Our name means grace, good will, loving-kindness, favor; of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.

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