Today is the traditional beginning of Las Posadas, a re-enactment of Joseph and Mary seeking shelter in Bethlehem.
In the parish of Dulce Nombre de María they have been celebrating the Posadas since the first Sunday of Advent.
The tradition is that a group of people – the pilgrims – goes to a house and, with one part of the group inside, alternate singing these verses:
In the name of heaven,
I ask you for shelter,
since my beloved spouse
Inside comes this response:
This isn’t an inn,
Keep on going elsewhere,
I cannot open;
Don’t be a tramp.
We’ve come, exhausted,
I’m a carpenter
and my name is Joseph
I don’t care what your name is;
let me sleep,
since I’ve already told you
that I don’t have to open.
Are our hearts open to receiving the Christ who comes to us, who knocks at our door? Not only at the door of our hearts? But also, as the poor stranger, at the doors of our houses and at the borders of our nations?
Las Posadas are a challenge to all closed doors, all that keeps others out.
The are a challenge to us as persons – but also to the nations of the world.
Would that the nations of the world be able to sing the last verse, where those inside open the doors and let the people in:
Come in, holy pilgrims,
receive this corner,
and even though my dwelling is poor,
I heartily give you this place to stay.