Psalms 45:11-12, 14-17
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas
Who am I?
It is difficult to overestimate the intensity of feeling, the depth of meaning associated with today’s Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe among those tracing their spiritual heritage to Mexico. It is not easy to simply define who she is or what she means to millions of people living, not only within Mexico, but far beyond her borders.
The image of the Virgin, impressed upon the mantle of Juan Diego, bears the many distinctive features that we have come to associate with this miracle of grace and conversion. The long flowing robe, hands clasped in prayer, her belted waist revealing a mother pregnant with new life. But it is her face, her face that is most remembered, for she bears the features of those people who gave birth to Juan and with whom he lived. The lovely Lady was one of them.
“Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” These words of Elizabeth from the gospel of Luke might well have been on the lips of Juan Diego. Who am I, that such a thing should happen to me? That the Lady should come from heaven, to me?
As an author once said, Mary is not the great exception; she is the great example. Jesus Christ is the Savior; she is the image of one who is saved. She comes to Juan, and to others throughout history and remains before our eyes as if to say, “What I am, where I am, you also shall be.” Yes, you, even you who think yourselves unworthy of a visit from the Lord himself, you shall share his glory.
What if we were to imagine the Virgin with our face, or that of our
sister, mother or friend? “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should
come to me?” She is one like us. She comes to tell us we are to be
numbered among those saved by the Savior. Yes, even we who think
ourselves unworthy of the Lord.
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