Today we celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, we are honoring Mary the mother of Jesus, but also Juan Diego. Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a holy and humble man called Juan Diego. God did not choose a rich or famous or a strong or powerful person to be his messengers. God choose humble man Juan Diego to be his messenger. Our Lady of Guadalupe entrusted Juan Diego with a message of hope for the Mexican people. Mary appeared to Juan Diego as a beautiful Mexican woman. This apparition of Mary became known as Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Mexican people. Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke to Juan Diego in his own language. Juan Diego listened carefully to the words of this beautiful woman. She asked him to go and tell the bishop to build a church on this hill. When Juan went to the bishop with this message the bishop and the priest refused to believe him.
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared once again to One Diego. This time she told him to pick some roses and to bring them to the bishop. Roses did not grow on the mountain at that time of the year. Juan Diego found roses and put them in his tilma. He told the bishop that the lady told him to bring him the roses. When Juan Diego opened his tilma the roses fell on the floor, but there appeared a miraculous picture of a lady on the inside Juan’s tilma. Juan Diego recognized the picture as the lady who spoke to him on the mountain. Juan Diego told the bishop the message that Our Lady of Guadalupe. The message simply was that a church must be built on the mountain so that the people of Mexico could come and worship her Son, Jesus Christ.
Today there is a beautiful basilica church in Mexico City on this mountain where Juan encountered Our Lady. On the church wall behind the altar is Juan Diego tilma with the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it. People come from all over Mexico and the world to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. To give thanks to a Lady of Guadalupe for the gift of her Son, Jesus Christ.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron of Mexico and of the Americas. Everywhere today in the world the Mexican people celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady came as a Mexican woman to give her son to the Mexican people. So that her son, Jesus and the Gospel would be known among the Mexican people. The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is for all the people of the world. But the people of Mexico received a very special gift of Jesus through Our lady of Guadalupe.
Today in Mexico City thousands of people come from all over Mexico to thank our Lady of Guadalupe for the gift of his Son Jesus Christ. We gather here at Waneta to thank Our Lady of Guadalupe for sharing her message with Juan Diego and inspiring the bishop to build a church. The message of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the same message for you and me today. That we must know, love and serve her son, Jesus Christ. We come here today to thank our Lady of Guadalupe for the gift of Jesus. In the Bible we hear Jesus teach us that He is the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus came to show us the way. Jesus came to teach us the truth. Jesus came to give us the gift of everlasting life through His Words and through the Eucharist. Jesus at the last supper said these words, “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you. Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.”
We come together today to hear the words of Jesus. Our Lady of Guadalupe helped Juan Diego to know her son, Jesus Christ.
Msgr. Eduardo Chávez Sánchez, postulator for the cause of Saint Juan Diego, said: “Through her message to Saint Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe makes us aware of our own mission, our own participation in the great love of God. Like Juan Diego, she has placed us, her many children, in the cradle of her arms. She is our protector and reveals our dignity, as she comes to place her own son, Jesus Christ, in the depths of our hearts, who is the very reason for our existence. In this way, we can see that we are all brothers and sisters, called to conversion and participating in the construction of that divine church, the civilization of love.”
December 12, 2021
Homily By Bishop Noonan