Sunday, December 9, 2012

He Brought Only His Suffering

This past July was the tenth anniversary of the canonization of Juan Diego. In 2002, I made the second of my three pilgrimages (thus far) to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, where I witnessed this extraordinary event.

It was truly an encounter between two of Mary's "smallest" (and greatest) sons. There was Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, the first indigenous American saint. And there was John Paul II, painfully crippled by Parkinson's disease, almost immobile, but moved by a palpable love to show his suffering to millions of people.

It was his fifth and final visit to this blessed, troubled land. Love for Christ had exhausted all his talents and his personal and historic greatness.

He brought only his suffering. But he came, because he wanted to tell us again, through his pain: Be not afraid!

Be not afraid of all the darkness in the world.
Be not afraid of your own weakness.
Open all the doors!
Open the doors of your vulnerability,
and of all the scars
and the wounds
and the failures.

People are just poor,
lost in themselves but loved by Jesus
inside of all their pain,
and loved by Mary.

Be not afraid to love people.

Jesus is deeper
than all of our inexorable problems.
His healing will amaze and humble us.
And Mary will bring Him close.
Everything is entrusted to her tenderness.