I moved into the new house in Plan Grande on Friday, December 19. Not everything was moved, nor everything in order. But I spent the night in the house – and participated with the village in the Posadas.

The Posadas are an Advent custom that includes a sung dialogue between Joseph outside and the innkeeper within. It ends with a joyous verse, with a different melody, calling on the pilgrims to enter.


Here, the people then listen to the day’s Gospel and a reflection, followed by coffee and a sweet bread.

I participated in the Posadas two other evenings. There were over 80 people each night.

As I reflected on the readings for the Posadas and the readings for the last nine days of Advent, what struck me was the sense of something new happening.

An angel appears in the Jerusalem temple to an old priest, Zechariah, and tells him that he’s going to be a father. He is struck dumb – literally. It’s too much for him.

The same angel visits a young virgin, Mary, in a town in the sticks and tells her that the Son of God is to be born of her. She responds that she is the Lord’s servant and the Lord dwells in her womb in an out of the way place – not in the temple.

A sterile woman, Elizabeth, gives birth to John the Baptist. That’s something new and unexpected.

God works and opens ways that are not expected.

God is the God of surprises of newness.

And on December 25 we celebrate the outstanding Good News that God becomes flesh and pitches his tent among us – in poverty.

May God open our eyes to see the newness that God brings about in the world.

And may we be open, with God-among-us, to open new ways for all God’s people, especially the poor.



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