I sit here in the seminary, enjoying my cup of coffee and reflecting back on yesterday’s excursion. After a 45 minute shuttle ride through Mexico City’s traffic, we found ourselves at the most important Church in the Americas. Here at this particular temple, one realizes without a doubt that one is a child, regardless of their age ….. a child who has a mother. Her name is Mary or more affectionately on this shores: Guadalupe!
There have been several attempts in my life to visit her, but for reasons they never worked out …. until yesterday.
I went on this pilgrimage with no expectations, only an open heart, in hopes to have a small moment with her. Never would I have expected to sit in the sanctuary with my seminarian brothers in a basilica filled with pilgrims. Furthermore, I never would have thought I would be a book bearer to one of the priest during the Eucharistic Prayer and literally stand at the altar right before her image….
Monsignor Jorge Palencia, a canonist of the basilica, gave us a wonderful presentation on the Guadalupe event and a personal tour through the Basilica grounds!
What is the take away from visiting the Empress of the Americas? There are countless things we can say about Guadalupe. Allow me to say only two:
- The tilma was used a matrimonial expression of two becoming one in the sacrament? We see this in other cultures like the Philippines where the veil is important during the ritual of matrimony, showing that the two become one. She imprints herself on this tilma as a way of telling all people that she is near us and that she desires to affectionately be our mother.
- Guadalupe gave Juan Diego a very important task to build a temple here in Mexico in order to bring the faith. Jesus Christ is the center of the Guadalupe Event. Mary uses the most lowly of people, who even had a dying uncle who was healed, to do the most important task. We all come to her on our knees. We come with our personal problems, our aches, our difficulties … and she says to us, “Am I not your mother?” We find reassurance that she will care for us and at the same time call us to the boundless task of bring others to Christ.
May our lives sing of God’s goodness. May our tongue proclaim God’s goodness with the same word’s of Guadalupe in her Magnificat:
Proclama mi alma la grandeza del Señor, se alegra mi espíritu en Dios mi Salvador, porque ha mirado la humillación de su esclava.
Desde ahora me felicitarán todas las generaciones porque el Poderoso ha hecho obras grandes por mí. Su nombre es Santo y su misericordia llega a sus fieles de generación en generación.
Él hace proezas con su brazo, dispersa a los soberbios de corazón. Derriba del trono a los poderosos y enaltece a los humildes. A los hambrientos los colma de bienes y a los ricos despide vacíos.
Auxilia a Israel su siervo, acordándose de su santa alianza según lo había prometido a nuestros padres en favor de Abrahán y su descendencia por siempre.
Gloria al Padre y al Hijo y al Espíritu Santo como era en principio ahora y siempre por los siglos de los siglos.