Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
(I was asked to bless one of the local supermarkets in our parish as they celebrated the Fieste de Nuestra Senora Guadalupe)
Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, because on this day in 1531 Juan Diego listened to her and picked roses from the top of the hill of Tepeyac. Out of obedience to Our Lady he wrapped the roses in his tilma and carried them to the Bishop of Mexico. When he opened his tilma in the presence of the Bishop, the roses spilled out revealing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his tilma.
There are two key elements to the image of Our Lady that I would like to reflect on today; the sovereignty of God and the need to live a life of prayer.
Our Lady appears in front of the Sun and standing on the Moon, which were symbols for prominent Aztec Gods. In this way she demonstrates that we are to worship only the true God in heaven and not false Gods, be they ancient Aztec Gods, or modern Gods such as money or things.
The second element of the image on the tilma is that Our Lady appears as a pregnant Aztec princess with her head bowed in prayer. The reason for this is because Mary is teaching us that the way to salvation is through coming to know her Son, Jesus. The Lady of Guadalupe teaches us that the way to know her Son is by listening to Him in prayer, and imitating him with our own love for the poor, the weak and the oppressed.
Why did Jesus send his Mother to appear to Blessed Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac all those years ago? I think the reason why is because of God’s love for us. He wants us to share the same faith that Juan Diego has, so Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in order to bring us into the Church – to know and love and serve God.