Praedicare is a blog about the many ways Dominicans preach with their lives, coordinated by Sister Rebecca Hodge, OP, who serves as the Coordinator of Online Preaching for the Congregation. In addition to written blogs, we will be using a multi-media approach to preaching.
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At this time of year, many cultures have unique traditions that help them to celebrate the meaning of Jesus’ birth. One such tradition in Latin American countries and among the Hispanic culture in the United States is the Posada.
Posadas are a novena procession and drama, re-enacting the story of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem. The word posada means shelter.
The tradition originated in Spain and was brought by the Spanish missionaries to help teach the story of Jesus’ birth. Celebrated from December 16 through Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), the procession is led by persons dressed as Mary and Joseph, accompanied by others who may be dressed as angels and shepherds. The participants sing the traditional song, asking for shelter, in front of a number of houses. The verses go back and forth, with the people in the procession asking for permission to enter and the people in the home refusing admission. The procession goes from house to house until a selected family opens their door to Mary and Joseph. The people in the procession enter the welcoming house, where the whole group prays, sings traditional songs, and tell part of the nativity story.
Sister Kitty Bethea, OP
Image purchased from Shutterstock
If you search the Internet for Marian feast days, you will find a calendar celebrating Mary every day of the year. How can a woman whose words were so sparsely captured in the New Testament be so spectacularly honored? I suggest three endearing qualities: faithful humility, simple obedience, and complete trust. Mary was a young girl of 13 when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her. With faithful humility, simple obedience and complete trust in the divine, she gave her fiat to be the Mother of our Lord. She was a faithful Jewish girl who had learned her faith well, she was obedient to the inclinations of the spiritual, and obedient to her God. From her haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth to the birth of her Son, to the flight into Egypt and to the walk down Calvary, she remained what she always was: faithfully humble, simply obedient, and completely trusting in God’s divine plan. We would be well served to model ourselves after her.
The Vatican has approved 16 Marian apparitions as authentic; thousands more are under consideration. Mary’s urgent message is nearly always the same: pray (the rosary), fast, and do penance, as she can no longer hold back the arm of her Son.
A renewed return to the rosary or even the Hail Mary will remind us that it is Mary, our Mother and God’s Mother, who is praying for us. I can’t imagine a better prayer warrior “now and at the hour of our death."
Sister Rebecca Hodge, OP
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