Found in the opening line of today’s Gospel, Mary traveled to the hill country in haste (Luke 1.39). She does not travel alone for she travels with her LORD and son in her womb. To run in haste means that one is focused and determined and not caught up in distractions. She makes her way to Elizabeth only with the purpose of bringing Jesus.
As she did for Elizabeth, she did for Juan Diego 500 years ago. She is the woman clothed with the sun and the moon underneath her feet as Revelation prophesied. For the Aztecs, this image which was revealed to Juan Diego showed that she was greater than their pagan gods of the sun and moon. Furthermore, she is only great because she carries in her womb the master and Lord of the universe which is evident by the cincture around her waste, an Aztec symbol of her pregnancy. Our Lady of Guadalupe, looks downward with hands folded in prayer knowing that she is carrying the very answer to life’s unanswered questions, she carries Christ the LORD.
In the span of ten years since the apparition, nine million people in Mexico came to accept the Faith because of this miracle, but what makes our Lady of Guadalupe so special to us some 500 years later? How is this still relevant?
Juan Diego was not the most popular or the most educated. As a matter of fact, he belonged to the lowliest in society. Yet, Mary had a mission for him that forever changed Mexico and the Americas.
Mary looks to us, not for our educational degrees, success, or wealth. She looks to us in our lowliness, and in our simplicity, and in our love for her Son. Perhaps she presents us with the challenge to be about her mission of bringing Jesus to the world today. When we carry Jesus and make him the center of our lives, we image her in trampling over the pagan gods of worldly fame, false success, materialism, and secularism only to bring the world that which is lasting joy and happiness. We bring about, in haste, Jesus the LORD.
Mary never points to herself. She only points to her Son. Wherever Mary is there will always be Jesus. The two are inseparable because Jesus became totally human and totally loves his mother with a deep and lasting love of a son. To deny Mary’s importance in Jesus‘ life is to deny his very humanity.
May we long for such a disposition to love Jesus as Mary loves him, to serve Jesus as Mary serves him, to make our bodies a tabernacle of communion and love as Mary revealed to the littlest follower of all, our dear Juan Diego.
She is more than queen of heaven and earth, she is more than patroness of Mexico, the Americas, and the Philippines. Above all she is Mother!
We now turn with Mary to do what Mary did, to say YES and to run with haste make Christ known.