In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Today we observe the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She appeared to a man who saw himself as someone without importance, asking him to do something larger than his own self-worth. Isn’t that sometimes the story of our own lives? Haven’t there been moments where we’ve felt unworthy of something great, not smart enough for something complex, or lacking in strength for something challenging?
The yearning affection of Our Lady is embodied through the image left on Juan Diego’s tilma, or cape. This image reminds us that Mary’s Son is faith, hope, and love for all and in all, belonging to all people of skill, schooling, and skin color. And just as she asked a small and meek man from Mexico to prepare the way for the building of a church, so too La Virgen asks us to ready ourselves for the building of her Son’s Kingdom on earth.
—Damian Torres-Botello, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
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 Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Traditional Catholic prayer