Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
On this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of North America, we have an opportunity to reflect upon the significance of our Blessed Mother’s presence, now, in our midst. As she appeared in the midst of the people of Mexico, and in the earliest times, in the midst of the disciples gathered in one room, as Pope Francis puts it in Evangellii Gaudium, “she joined the disciples in praying for the coming of Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14) and thus made possible the missionary outburst which took place at Pentecost.” “Without her,” he goes on to say, “we could never truly understand the spirit of the new evangelization.” (#285)
The Spirit of the new evangelization and what urges me to look to Mary, is the interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others.
We seek to make our hearts “homes” for others as Mary did in accepting motherhood, birthing the savior of the world. Catholicism was very, very young in taking root among the indigenous people of Mexico. Catholicism had the greatest challenge of all, to combat genocide. The Spanish conquest and it’s insatiable, and, unstoppable appetite for gold, was leaving the indigenous no alternative but to be enslaved, or die, with disease or starvation. God would send His Mother who would say to Juan Diego, “Let your heart not be troubled…Am I not here, whom am your Mother?”
Let us take time to day to identify, with gratitude how Mary continues to “birth Jesus into the world” through us, as other disciples.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School, Birmingham, Alabama.