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Advent Reflection: recognize the miracles in your life

Advent image

During this second week of Advent, we also celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The feast commemorates the experience of a poor Chicameca native named Cuauhtlatohuac, baptized Juan Diego. On his way to Mass in the hill country around Mexico City on Dec. 9, 1531, he had the experience of encountering Mary. The Bishop of Mexico did not believe him, and so asked him to bring back a sign. When he went to the same place, Mary appeared again and filled his cloak with roses even though it was December. When he brought the roses back to the Bishop, the image we know as Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on the cloak.

The story of Saint Juan Diego reminds us to keep our eyes open to the miracles in our lives. We may not be privileged to experience such a dramatic event, but Immanuel, “God with us,” journeys with us every day. If we are alert, we can gather up joy from many unexpected sources – the grateful smile of a resident, an unexpected gift or favor from a colleague, the beauty of new snow, a kind word when we feel lost, or the excitement of children experiencing the wonder of the season.

During this season of waiting, when the world may seem dark and cold, may you be blessed with many small miracles that will warm your heart and lighten your spirit.

by Sister Joan Marie Stelman, OSB, senior vice president, Mission Integration