Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Zechariah 2:14-17 or Revelation 11:19a. 12:1-6a, 10ab; Psalm (Judith) 13:18cde, 19; Luke 1:39-47 or Luke 1:39-47
Today, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, honoring Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It commemorates the appearance of Mary in 1531 to Saint Juan Diego near Mexico City. At Mary's request, he carried a message to the bishop of Mexico City and, through the miracle of the roses, was granted permission to build a church on the Hill of Tepeyac.
The Gospel of Saint Luke (1:26-38) recounts the angel Gabriel's appearance to the Virgin Mary, a young teen betrothed to Joseph of the House of David. When the angel told Mary of her selection to bear the Son of the Most High, she was troubled, and I am sure in grave doubt. As the angel told her of the work of the Holy Spirit and the fact of Elizabeth's conception in her old age, Mary gave herself to God's will.
Let us use our imagination and place ourselves with this young woman who is told she will be pregnant without knowing relations with a man. Can we picture her concern? Can we imagine her fear of being ostracized by the scandal that was about to occur? Can we see the doubt and tension on her face as she confronts God's will for her? Yet supported by her faith in God and the power of the Holy Spirit, she declares, "may it be done to me according to your word." Mary responded to the angel and the manifestation of another miracle in the form of Elizabeth's pregnancy.
Friends, Mary's example is a light to us in today's world. While we may not have the direct intervention of an angel, we must ask ourselves if we are attentive to the Holy Spirit's movements in our hearts.
As we continue our Advent journey, let Mary's example inspire us to become quiet and centered so we may listen to God's will for us. Let us be able to proclaim, "May it be done to me according to your 'will.'" Amen!
Question of the Day: How will the encounter of Mary and Elizabeth remind you this Advent to be present in all of your relationships with yourself, with others, and with God?
Prayer: Lord God, through Saint Juan Diego, You made known the love of Our Lady of Guadalupe toward Your people. By his intercession, grant that we who follow the counsel of Mary, our Mother, may strive continually to do Your will. Amen. (Lives of the Saints, Illustrated.)