Today’s scripture: Psalm 125
Those who trust in God are like Zion Mountain:
Nothing can move it, a rock-solid mountain
you can always depend on.
Mountains encircle Jerusalem,
and God encircles his people—
always has and always will.
The fist of the wicked
will never violate
What is due the righteous,
provoking wrongful violence.
Be good to your good people, God,
to those whose hearts are right!
God will round up the backsliders,
corral them with the incorrigibles.
Peace over Israel!
Today is an important holiday to many in our world. Today Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated. As the story goes, in 1531 Juan Diego, a poor humble character, saw on the hillside in all of her splendor this Holy woman.
The lady told him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local bishop
, who asked for some proof. He went back and had the vision again. He told the lady that the bishop wanted proof, and she said “Bring the roses behind you.” Turning to look, he found a rose bush growing behind him. He cut the roses, placed them in his poncho and returned to the bishop, saying he had brought proof. When he opened his poncho, instead of roses, there was an image of the young lady in the vision.
This icon now stands in the Basilica and Our Lady of Guadalupe has become one of the most popular and important religious images in Mexico especially. This image has become important for a few reasons. First of all, it highlights that Mary, the mother of God, appears to the most humble and the one willing to listen. She did not appear to the richest but this native man wandering along and he was willing to hear the call. For many, she has become the symbol of womanhood reminding us of her role in the whole story. For others she represents healing and miracles. For whatever reason she has become dear and important to a number of people.
Yesterday we talked a lot about Mary and her role in Jesus’ story. She embodies perplexity, questions, a role no one else could fill and ultimately pure joy at the task before her. She is one of my favorite characters in all of this because she embodies every woman who has said yes to God’s call. She essentially is no one until God calls on her and even then is humbly, poor, and not necessarily the one we would have thought God would choose. But this is kind of how God works. God picks the unsuspecting, the unassuming and the one who is not the natural hero in the story. This gives me great hope that I can also rise to whatever God may call me to do. Although we may have heard this before….doesn’t it give you great hope for things that you can also do?
Today I would encourage you to look at a few websites about Our Lady of Guadalupe or to talk about this holiday that means so much to so many people. The images of today’s celebration will be colorful. What do you know about this story? How can we relate to being called to great things out of the ordinary?
Prayer: God of power and mercy,
you blessed the Americas at Tepeyac
with the presence of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.
May her prayers help all men and women
to accept each other as brothers and sisters.
Through your justice present in our hearts
may Your peace reign in the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.