Meditation for the Day

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12

In the Life of Faith Which You and I Profess, May Our Christian Witness Emulate the Life of Mary, Who Has Always, Both Here and in Eternity, Given Glory and Praise to Our God and Hers.

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” – words which speak of the profound humility which filled Mary’s heart, a heart which gave itself to the will of God in her own life here on Earth, and even now in Heaven.

And as the humble “handmaid of the Lord”, Mary has visited her spiritual children many times throughout the centuries and has been known under many different mantles – Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of Fatima, the Rosa Mystica, Our Lady of Mercy, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Lourdes and the list continues.

But today, she comes to us as Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas!

In December 1531, her message of love and compassion, and her universal promise of help and protection to all mankind, as well as the story of the apparitions, are described in a 16th century document written in the native language of the Mexican people.

This ancient chronicle tells us the story of how a “Lady from Heaven” appeared to Juan Diego, a poor Indian from Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City. Appearing as a young Native American maiden dressed like an Aztec princess, she identified herself as the “Mother of the True God”. And as a sign of proof for the bishop to believe that Mary herself was appearing to Juan Diego, she left an image of herself imprinted miraculously within his cape, called a tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth.

And according to the ancient chronicle, the “Lady from Heaven” said, “My dearest son, I am the eternal Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God, who is the Author of Life, Creator of all and Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth…and it is my desire that a church be built here in this place for me, where, as your most merciful Mother and that of all your people, I may show my loving clemency and the compassion that I bear to the Indians, and to those who love and seek me…”

During this period of time, the native Indians worshipped nature – the sun or the rain, for example – and human sacrifices were common. And while the Conquistadors (Spanish conquerors of Mexico and Peru) came from Spain to evangelize, they, too, added to their misery by destroying their temples in search for gold, which angered the native Indians who thought the True God would not kill and ravage the people.

The Virgin Mary appeared in Mexico four times as the pregnant Mother of God to Juan Diego, and she came to give life to a new generation, saving them from a life of misery and forced slavery. The apparitions were a rebuke to the Spaniards, and an event of vast significance for the suffering Indians!

While a number of them had converted before this incident, they now came in droves. According to the written reports found within the chronicle of that time, nine million Indians were converted and baptized within the next nine years – and human sacrifice finally came to an end in Mexico!

In these days when we hear so much about the poor and the marginalized in the various societies and cultures around the world, Our Lady of Guadalupe cries out to us that God’s Love for and identification with the poor is an age-old truth that stems from the Gospel itself, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.”

Altogether, twenty-six popes have officially honored Our Lady of Guadalupe. When our late Holy Father was alive, Pope Saint John Paul II visited her Sanctuary four times. And on his third visit, he entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection, and placed under her Motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born.

The mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe, just as is her mission under all the other mantles under which she is known, is to lead her spiritual children to her Divine Son, Jesus.

On this Feastday of Our Lady, she shows us the immeasurable Mercy of God by bringing us to her Son, so that we might receive from Him the gift of God’s Truth and Love.

And the very fact that Mary appeared as a pregnant Mother during the period of Advent reminds us of how sacred life truly is at every moment of its development – from the very moment of conception to the moment when we breathe our last in this life, especially as you and I look forward to commemorating the Holy Birth of her own Son in only thirteen days.

In the life of faith which you and I profess through the words we speak and the examples we give, may our Christian witness emulate the life of Mary – a life which has always, both here and in eternity, given glory and praise to our God and hers.

For her words should truly become our own as well, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’” (Luke 1:38ab)
  • …‘Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth…’” (Judith 13:18ab)
  • “Behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:48b-49)
  • “So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20a)
  • “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
  • “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.” (Luke 6:20b)
  • “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
  • “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Revelation 12:1)
  • “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1:46b-47)

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Prayer for the Day

“O God, Father of all Mercies,

who placed Your people under the singular protection

of your Son’s most Holy Mother,

grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe

may seek, with an ever more lively faith,

the progress of all peoples in the ways of justice and peace.

“We humbly ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,

who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

cf. Collect from the Roman Missal

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