Our Lady of Guadalupe
Dec 12, 2017
What is the nature of Filial Love? Did not Christ model this for us when teaching us the Our Father and with every breath of His life and mission insisted that we refer to God as Abba or da da?
What a beautiful term of tenderness this is...and for us to be able to use it as we address the Almighty God and Creator of all that is...how amazing...for what is the attitude of a child who refers to parent as da da if not one of absolute trust?
There is no fear, no concern or anxiety that his parent will provide all things for him...and not just food, clothing and shelter...but most of all...the great comfort of love...that awesome sense of security that a child is able to rest content and safe in the arms of his father...feeling those strong arms around him and knowing all is right in the world...his wonderful world...
And know that God is Our Father because we have Mary as our Mother who gives to us Jesus Christ who shows to us the Father's Face...who extends to us through the Incarnation of His Son His fully embracing arms of protection and love.
And so today on this Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe we remember another story of Heaven's incredible tenderness when on December 9th 1531 while on his way to Mass, Juan Diego is met by what he describes as a beautiful woman dressed like an Aztec Princess who addresses him as Juanito, dearest or little Juan. And when Mary appeared to him, she was pregnant with the Christ Child.
And how unlike other Apparitions of Our Lady when she would appear to children. In this instance she appears to a middle aged man but addresses him as though he were the littlest of children who she desires to gather up into her arms and hold firm and safe to her Immaculate Heart.
And today's celebration is a reminder too, that we are all part of an extended family which implies that as a family we are responsible for one another...that bringing the love of God into the world and people's lives is a team effort.
For example, what may not be as well known as other parts of the Guadalupe story is that prior to Our Lady appearing as that Aztec Princess upon Tepayac Hill there was an actual Aztec Princess who was the much beloved Niece of then King Montezuma II...And for many years she would climb that hill and pray for her people...with desperation and sadness but also much hope.
For she knew the hideous nature of that particular hill...where for too long, her own people would bow in worship to pagan gods. One in particular who was ironically referred to as their mother god.
And her image was one forged from the fires of hell...her whole body was made of writhing snakes and rather that give birth to life from the poisonous milk of her breasts she would instead provide punishment and death...instilling such fear into those who worshiped her that to appease her wrath and thirst for destruction, the sacrifice of tens of thousands of people each year would be horrifically performed.
And how heartbroken must that Princess have been to look down upon her beloved town and people and see a line of people for as far as the eye could see being led bound out of the town to their eventual place and altar of slaughter...mostly children and entire families.
And for years this Princess would pray and plead and weep and until one day in 1511 she received a very special revelation...though she could not understand its nature she knew that she had to report what she saw and heard to her Uncle the King. Informing him that one day the true faith would be manifest to the people and the sign of its arrival would be the black cross.
And ten years later...Cortes and his Spanish Fleet would arrive with the image of a Black Cross emblazoned upon their Ships' sails. And arriving, Cortes changed the name of the harbor town to Vera Cruz or True Cross and toppling the Aztec statue of their feathered serpent god...he put up in its place a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of the Remedy.
And ten years later in 1531...she would make good on that promise of remedy by bringing to the Aztec people the one True God...He who is the way, the truth and the life...Jesus Christ.
And speaking to Juan Diego...we must make the spirit of Mary’s words our own with a similar tenderness and compassion for the whole world and all the people in it
"Know, know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the God of truth through Whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near us, the Lord of heaven and earth. I want very much to have a little house built here for me, in which I will show Him, I will exalt Him and make Him manifest.
I will give Him to the people in all my personal love, in my compassion, in my help, in my protection: because I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their complaints and heal all their sorrows, hardships and sufferings.
And in this same spirit of Marian Love and Affection then we must holster and put away any accusatory and pointing fingers...shelve all our complaining for the state that the world is in...and with Mary extend our arms in a gesture of prayer…holding out to others, as Mary did from Bethlehem…the Prince of Peace.