Friday, December 12, 2014

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

(Zechariah 1:14-17; Luke 1:39-47)

When someone compliments us, it is only polite to say something gracious in return.  But surprisingly this is not what happens in the gospel today.  When Elizabeth greets Mary, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb…,” Mary turns to God and says, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…”  Mary first thinks of God, not herself and not of other people as manners dictate.

Something similar takes place in the account of the appearance of the Virgin Mother to Juan Diego on Mount Tepeyac.  When the woman whose clothing shined like the sun introduces herself, she says, “I am truly the ever perfect Holy Virgin Mary.”  Then her words shift to God almost entirely, “…who has the honor to be the Mother of the one true God for whom we all live, the Creator of people, the Lord of all around us and of what is close to us…”  And when she explains the purpose of the shrine which she is requesting, it is solely to give glory to God.  She says, “In (my sacred little house) I will show Him, I will exalt Him upon making Him manifest, I will give Him to all people in all my personal love.”

We venerate Our Lady of Guadalupe today because she has given us Jesus Christ, the God-man who has saved us from our sins.  She brought him into the world for us, of course.  But even more than that, she has given him to us by exemplifying how we are to live with him as the center of our life.  She followed his law; she deferred to him when in need; and she imitated his love for all.