Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 690A
1st Reading – ZEC 2:14-17
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.
Or RV 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB
God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.”
Responsorial Psalm – JUDITH 13:18BCDE, 19
R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
From you rose the sun of justice, Christ our Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel – LK 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
Or LK 1:39-47
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
Catholic Daily Reflections
Our Lady of Guadalupe
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28b
Today, in Mexico, the United States and across the Americas, we honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego, an Indian convert to the faith, was walking to a nearby village so that he could attend Mass. On his way, a woman appeared to him amidst the sound of celestial music. She announced to him:
I am your merciful Mother, to you and to all mankind who love me and trust in me and invoke my help. Therefore, go to the dwelling of the Bishop in Mexico City and say that the Virgin Mary sent you to make known to him her great desire.
Though Juan Diego did not accomplish this at first, he eventually followed the instruction of the Virgin of Guadalupe in subsequent apparitions and brought fresh roses from the mountain top to the bishop as a sign that the Virgin wanted a shrine built there. Roses did not usually grow that time of year so this was clearly a miraculous sign. Upon arriving at the bishop’s residence, Juan Diego opened his cloak (tilma) carrying the roses so as to pour them out onto the floor before the bishop. When he did so, the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared, miraculously, upon the threads of this cloak. The cloak is still visible to all who wish to see it at the shrine in Mexico City. And what is amazing, scientifically speaking, is that the image is not painted, rather, each and every thread has changed color so as to create this holy image. Furthermore, the cloak is made of a cactus plant that normally disintegrates within ten years. Today, the cloak is almost five hundred years old and it is as fresh and vibrant as ever.
Though the miraculous nature of the tilma of Juan Diego is fascinating to ponder, what is of far greater significance is the message of our Blessed Mother as she appeared to Juan. ”I am your merciful Mother…” she said. She is our Mother when we trust her and invoke her help.
The Feast of Our Lady, therefore, ought not simply be seen as a cultural, historical or miraculous phenomena. Rather, it must be seen as a glorious invitation from the Queen of Heaven to accept her as our mother.
Reflect, today, upon your own relationship with our Heavenly Mother. Do you trust in her intercession and help? Do you know that Jesus has entrusted you to her care? Have you consecrated your life to her protection? One of the best ways to honor our Blessed Mother is to pray the rosary. Pray it today, at least a decade. And as you do, ask her to gently guide you to her Son, Jesus.
Dearest Mother, Virgin of Guadalupe, I consecrate myself to your motherly care. I thank you for your perfect concern, help and mercy. Please intercede for me as I place my trust in you. Take me to Your Son Jesus that I may love Him with your beautiful heart. Mother Mary, pray for us. St. Juan Diego, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.