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Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Hail Mary, who is with us

“Where are you going, my son?” With these words, the Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have greeted the indigenous campesino (and now, saint) Juan Diego when she appeared to him in 1531, an event the people of the Americas celebrate today. The image the Virgin of Guadalupe impressed on Juan Diego’s cape shows a mestizo woman who wears the band of a pregnant indigenous woman and a flower, symbol of renewal. Mary came to all the peoples of the Americas in the form of a Native American. It is her way of saying she is with us. Put yourself in the care of Guadalupe.

TODAY'S READINGS: Zechariah 2:14-17 or Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab; Luke 1:26-38 or Luke 1:39-47 (690A). “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

©2018 TrueQuest Communications. TakeFiveForFaith.com; mail@takefiveforfaith.com. All rights reserved. Noncommercial reprints permitted with the following credit: Reprinted with permission from TakeFiveForFaith.com. Scripture citations from the New American Bible Revised Edition. For more information about Take Five and our regular contributors, go to PrepareTheWord.com. Free daily email and app available online at TakeFiveForFaith.com/subscribe.

ALWAYS BE READY

A mother was explaining, to her little girl, the death of her father. The mother said: “God has sent for your father and will send for us, but I do not know just when.” Finally, the little girl said: “If we do not know just when God is going to send for us, do you not think we had better pack up and get ready to go? God might send when we are not ready.”

Vatican City, Dec 12, 2018 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis gave an Advent reminder Wednesday that faith should not be just a “decorative” addition to daily life by pointing to how the ‘Our Father’ prayer embodies the essence of life itself.

“Prayer - Jesus teaches us - does not begin in human existence after the stomach is full: rather it lurks wherever there is a man, any man, who is hungry, who cries, who struggles, who suffers and wonders ‘why,’” Pope Francis said in the Paul VI hall Dec. 12.

The ‘Our Father’ prayer’s request for “daily bread,” the pope explained, exemplifies God’s desire to meet man in his concrete reality, in his basic needs.

“Our first prayer, in a sense, was the wail that accompanied the first breath. In that newborn cry, the destiny of our whole life was announced: our continual hunger, our continual thirst, our search for happiness,” he continued.

Pope Francis pointed to the Biblical example of Bartimaeus in Mark’s Gospel - a blind man who begged at the gates of Jericho - whose loud cries for mercy were met by Jesus’ healing.

“Around him he had so many good people who told him to keep quiet, not to disturb the Master with his annoying shouts. But he, demanded with holy insistence, that his miserable condition could finally meet Jesus,” Francis said.

Prayer “frees us from the desperation of those who do not believe in a way out of so many unbearable situations,” he added.

The pope’s teaching on the ‘Our Father’ is a continuation of catechesis he began in the first week of Advent on “the seven questions” found in the “short but bold prayer” full of “filial trust.”

“The Lord Jesus gives us the grace of total trust in God as a compassionate Father who loves us and always remains at our side,” Pope Francis said in Spanish as he greeted pilgrims from Spain and Latin America.

The Paul VI Hall was filled with cheers and waves as the pope mentioned the day’s Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“May Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast we celebrate today, help us to surrender ourselves to the providential love of God and to place all our hope in Him,” Francis prayed.

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