Advent Reflections from Central America

maria

The Advent/Christmas season has become an important time of year for me in recent years. Growing up Chistmastime was always a highlight of the year, not only for the presents but also for the family time that drew us closer to one another.

More recently I feel like I’ve been rediscovering the “Christian” side of Christmas. Giving presents and being with family is good and important, but Jesus came for much more than that.

Here I want to share a few reflections inspired by people from Central America that have be significant to me at the start of this advent season.

I have recently had the Kyrie from the Nicaraguan Peasant Mass running through my head and it struck my how similiar the themes are to the Song of Mary (Magnificat). They both yearn for a world in which oppression ceases and peace reigns on earth, where the mighty who rule without mercy are brought low and the poor lifted up. I’d like to imagine that we could all meet somewhere in the middle.

Nicaraguan Peasant Mass Kyrie:

Christ, Christ Jesus
Identify with us
Lord, Lord my God
Identify with us.
Christ, Christ Jesus
be in solidarity with us.
Not with the opressive class
that exploits and devours
the community
but with my people
thristy for peace.

The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise:

46 Mary responded,

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47     How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”

Luke 1:46-55 NLT

May the celebration of the birth of the Messiah give us hope, and awaken in us a desire to see the words of Mary and many Nicaraguans come true.

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