Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
(Zechariah 1:14-17; Luke 1:39-47)
What were Juan Diego’s hopes as he set out the morning of December 9, 1531, for the Franciscan mission? Perhaps he only hoped to learn more about Christ. But probably deep down he harbored other, greater hopes. He might have hoped for the Europeans to leave his land. They were foreigners telling the native people where they could go and what they could do. It may be that Juan Diego harbored another hope that morning. He was a devout man and already a Christian. Perhaps he hoped to see all the native peoples embrace Jesus. As the Spaniards occupied more of the land, fewer natives were accepting the faith. Juan Diego may have regretted that his people were missing the one who could have improved their lives immeasurably.
Hope is more than wishful thinking. It pervades one’s consciousness causing the person to search for opportunities to realize what is hoped for. Hope overcomes the fear of taking risks. People today cross seas in small boats and deserts at night in hope of a better future. Juan Diego’s hope moved him to enter the city as the lovely lady, the Virgin of Guadalupe, told him. It made him insist that the bishop there hear what the lady wanted. Hope finally caused Juan Diego to work for the conversion of his people to Christianity.
During Advent Christians become aware of a great hope in our hearts. We long to see the good prosper and the evil reform. We try to reform ourselves and pray for others to do so. Because we know that the mother of God is an especially powerful advocate, we ask her to pray for us. Today we especially pray to the Virgin of Guadalupe. We ask her to intercede for us that our hope that our children keep the faith, our elders receive all deserved gratitude, and we may become more just people.