“The angel Gabriel … said, ‘Hail full of grace! The Lord is with you. … Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’” (Luke 1:26,28,30)
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12, 2022): ZEC 2:14-17; Judith 13:18,19; LK 1:26-38
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today, we revere her under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the patron of all the Americas.
Just a few days ago we venerated the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and saluted her as the patron of the United States of America. Today, we revere her under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the patron of all the Americas. In 1531, Mary appeared to an Indian convert to Christianity who, at baptism, had taken the name Juan Diego. It was only a few decades after Europeans had come to the Americas, yet God clearly wanted the native people to recognize His profound love for them by sending Mary to visit and leave a gift that we are able to appreciate to this day. The Blessed Virgin told St. Juan Diego to go to the bishop and instruct him to build a church at the place where she appeared. At first, the bishop doubted the startling message that the poor farmer shared with him. Then St. Juan Diego returned, bringing out-of-season roses that Our Lady provided, and the bishop begin to understand the singular event that had occurred. Yet only when the two men saw the astounding image that had been left on the cloak, or tilma, in which Juan Diego had carried the flowers did they truly grasp the miracle: It was the likeness was of Our Lady of Guadalupe, just as Juan Diego had seen her -- a beautiful young woman, an Aztec princess dancing, with her hands folded in prayer. God had sent Mary to proclaim His compassion and mercy for His people in a visible, lasting way.
Msgr. Eduardo Chavez Sanchez, who was the postulator for St. Juan Diego’s cause for canonization, said: “The Virgin, clothed with a mantle of stars as queen of heaven and earth, points us toward the truth that God is love, and mankind is the recipient of His love. The ‘One True God’ is a God whose love is so great that He comes to us through what was most significant and precious to Him, His own Mother; and whatever our condition, God confirms us in our dignity as His children.” We are all called to see ourselves and each other as children of Almighty God -- and to recognize one another as true brothers and sisters in Him.
Suggested missionary action: Today, we can honor Mary, Mother of God and our Mother as well, by praying a rosary. We can particularly ask her, under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe to intercede for the welfare of her children throughout the Americas -- and around the world.