Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Tuesday word, 12 Dec 2006
Our Lady of Guadalupe (12 Dec 2006) Zec 2. 14-17; Resp. Judith 13. 18bcde,19; Lk 1. 39-47
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Make Accessible the Way of Compassion
Mary is the Mother of God, my savior--hers and ours. The way God saves is by exalting the lowly, feeding the hungry and taking the hand of all who are vulnerable. In Old Testament language God took the hand of Israel because Israel was vulnerable. Today it is powerful. God still takes the hand of the vulnerable.
Our Lady of Guadalupe was Mary’s vision to Blessed Juan Diego on 09 December 1531. Mary told him,
“Know for certain, my son, my smallest [Aztec], that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of the one true God through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the owner of heaven and earth.
...“I am truly your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who live united in this land and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who search for me, of those who have confidence in me. There I will listen to their cry, to their sadness, so as to cure all their different pains, their miseries and sorrows, to remedy and alleviate their sufferings.”/1/
The Aztec people were vulnerable to the Spanish conquistadores. The Aztecs could not easily accept Christianity. The image of herself Mary impressed on Juan’s cloak first made a believer of the archbishop. Her image was full of Aztec symbols, such as the sun, the moon, the stars and the earth, which they worshipped.
For the Aztecs the color jade was the color of the path to God; Mary’s cloak is jade in her image on Blessed Juan’s cloak. Also, the sun was born over again in Aztec belief. In 1531 the Aztecs awaited the rebirth of the Sixth and final Sun of life./2/ Joined to such images as these Mary, won the hearts of the natives and is invoked as “‘Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization.’”/3/ Our Lady of Guadalupe invites us to reinvigorate in ourselves her Son’s heart reaching out to any and all who are vulnerable and to color their path with compassion and afford them hope in him, compassion and hope which originate in the gospel itself.
/1/ http://www.olgofm.org/story_of_guadalupe.html Copyright: Franciscan Province of our Lady of Guadalupe, 1998-200. All Rights Reserved.
/2/ Christine Foisy-Erickson,
/3/ John Paul II, Ecclesia in America, 11.
Photo of window by jukerr