The second apparition at the Chapel took place on the first day of the new liturgical year, at the beginning of Advent. The evening after first vespers for the first Sunday of Advent, Mary chose to appear again to Catherine Labouré. The date was Saturday, November 27,1830.
The timing of this apparition, at the beginning of Advent, allows us to understand the particular message Mary would give to Catherine.
A new earth, a gift to be accepted
The season of Advent which prepares for Christmas reminds us that God never ceases to come to us in order to create 'new heavens, a new earth where according to his promise, the justice of God will reside" [2 Pt 3:13]. But in order for God to come among us, we must welcome him. "Here I stand, knocking at the door. If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will enter his house" (Rv 3:20).
Each year, Advent allows us to realize again the necessity of creating a place for God to come and "reside among us" and create with us "a new earth."
The new earth a task to accomplish
The apparition of November 27 emphasized the mission to which all the baptized are called: to participate in the construction of a new earth, the Kingdom of God. To illustrate this lesson, Mary used three simple symbols, easily understood by all: a small globe, rays, and a medal. Mary asked Catherine to stress three points.
1 . "The Kingdom of God is already here."
Holding a small golden globe between her hands, Mary said to Catherine, "this globe represents the entire word, including France, and every person." With this message Mary opened Catherine's heart to embrace the entire world. Mary, as the Mother of all men and women, carries humanity in her arms. She called Catherine to share this concern and become a sister of everyone.
If we allow Mary's message to penetrate our mind and heart, we will become capable of recognizing the signs of the Kingdom in today's world. The little gold globe symbolizes the active presence of God in the hearts and lives of all.
2. "The Kingdom of God is not yet here."
The second apparition continued to unfold. According to Catherine, "Mary's fingers were covered with rings which in turn were covered with stones. Rays of ravishing light began to shine from these stones and the little globe disappeared."
The disappearance of the globe symbolized the fact that the Kingdom of God is not yet fully established on earth. The truth of this fact can be seen everywhere as we look around us.
The apparition continued on after the disappearance of the globe.
From Mary's hands came the luminous rays, which were "the symbols of the graces that the Blessed Virgin obtained." Mary invites us to receive the light of the Holy Spirit.
The light of this transforming love enables us to assist in bringing about the Kingdom of God on earth.
(Based on the book"A light shining on the earth" for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Canonization of Saint Catherine Labouré -1947-1997)