Monday, December 12, 2016

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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

All life is a journey.  Even if we never leave home, we journey through time.  If we do not stray, we come closer to the goal which is God.  Jesus accompanies us on our way.  He is like the sun around which the earth revolves as it moves through space.  He is near to help us.

Today’s gospel pictures Mary on a journey.  She goes to assist her cousin Elizabeth as the latter is heavy with child in her old age.  Mary, of course, is with child herself.  She carries within her Jesus who sent her forth.  As with most mothers, her child has become the critical focus of Mary’s life.  Bearing him in both body and soul, she freely gives of herself to others for the sake of the child. 

Today we celebrate a singularly important manifestation of Mary.  Our Lady of Guadalupe, the rose of Tepeyac, shows Mary pregnant with Jesus.  She is completing her journey to the new world – America.  She comes as a missionary to bring Jesus to the native people there.  But she dresses as a native princess and speaks in a native tongue.  She tells of her son symbolized by the church that she requests to be built in the native territory.  She indicates to the native whom she encounters that her son is to be as a bridge connecting European and Native American cultures.  He will bring about a new race born of the creativity of the former and endurance of the latter. 

The new race has recently arrived in this land with great numbers.  Its women and men bring Jesus as they replenish the Church here.  Their devotion to God, their care for others, their desire to submit to the Word – all make them welcome.