OUR LADY OF THE POOR
"Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth…" - Jdt. 13:18
Today we celebrate one of the holiest days of the year for all of the Americas. The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a story of how God acted in a people’s history to bring light in a time of great darkness.
Our Blessed Mother came with a message of hope, a vision of unity from the God of “What is Near and Together.” Speaking to the powerful through a humble and wise Indian man, she offered all her children the opportunity to build together a Church where the homeless are welcomed, the sorrowful comforted, the sick healed, and the voiceless empowered. The imprint of her lovely brown face on the strands of Juan Diego’s garment still calls to the Church in America to weave together the many races and cultural groups of the continent into a “new creation.”
The message of the Virgin of Guadalupe is the same one she sang over two thousand years ago in her beautiful Magnificat. “God has looked upon my lowliness and from this day all generations shall call me blessed!” (Luke 1:48). She knew what it meant to count for nothing in this world. She, like Juan Diego, lived her earthly life as a member of a conquered people living under occupation. Yet even in the face of a seemingly hopeless reality, Mary could envision a new reality — God’s Reign dawning upon the world from inside her womb.
This reign, Mary proclaimed, will be a complete revolution — not of swords and violence — a total change in the social order as we know it now. The poor will be lifted up and partake in a sumptuous banquet, while those who are rich in their greed and pride will fall on their faces and go away empty. This is not the cruel payback of an angry god; rather, it is a compassionate way of bringing empowerment and healing to the disinherited, and an opportunity for conversion for those who will learn in no other way.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we ask you to wrap us in your protection and deliver us to your son, Jesus Christ.
Adapted from Dr. Arturo Chavez