Today is the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. There are multiple readings that are offered for today, for me they all speak of a God who is immanent. In Zechariah we read, “you shall be his people and he will dwell among you.” In Revelation the authority of God’s Anointed has come to us. The Gospel, of course, tells us of Mary’s fiat; she literally made ROOM for God within her and accepted the infusion of the Holy Spirit willingly. This is Immanuel, God with us. God inserts God-self into our lives; into human history.
The story of Juan Diego, a poor Aztec Indian, and the pregnant Mary requesting that a church be built on Tepeyac hill is today’s feast. The story of Mary asking Juan to relay the message to Bishop Juan de Zumarraga is a familiar one to most people today. The disbelief of the Bishop and the subsequent miracle of roses in December and to the wonder of all assembled, a perfect image of La Virgen Morena (the Dark Virgin) was revealed emblazoned on Juan Diego's cloak as the roses tumbled to the floor.
It was 1531, the Spanish had just recently conquered the Aztec empire. Mary spoke to Juan in his native tongue. This is Immanuel, God with us. God inserted God-self powerfully into the life of Juan Diego and into the world of colonialism. God did not come to the powerful. God came to the meek, and the meek believed. Within a few years of the apparition millions of the natives converted to Christianity.
What a wonderful time of year to reflect on God with us. As we begin this new liturgical year and once again commit ourselves to making room for God in our hearts and lives we can remember how God inserts God-self into human history. It is not through the arrogant, the self-righteous, the wealthy. It is through a poor girl from Nazareth. It is through a poor Indian, a recent convert. It is through the meek. It is through strong faith and trust in God that allows us to be fully open to God’s coming into our lives. This is poverty of spirit. God comes to us through the poor, not only the materialistic ‘poor,’ but through our own poverty. It is easy to overlook both the poor and our own poverty. As we move through this Advent season let us be open to God’s self-revelation within each of us.
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook