Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Go to Guadalupe!

The miraculous icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on Juan Diego's tilma nearly five hundred years ago. I could speak of scientific studies that have only deepened the sense of amazement evoked by this singular image that is kept in the great basilica on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City.

Instead I will be very brief. I will say simply this: Go!

Go to Guadalupe! You will have to go to an enormous, chaotic city, to a large and often crowded basilica where you will be directed to a moving walkway beneath the image. You will see something like this (above) when you look up.

In less than a minute, you will pass it. The natural flow of traffic from here appears to lead to the gift shop.

But don't just go to the gift shop and then leave for another tourist spot. This is your time. Mary is here for you.

She won't force you to stay, or to notice her. But if you spend time with this mysterious image of the Mother of Jesus, if you recognize that you have been invited by her to a personal encounter, you will meet her and something new will be born in your life.

Spend time. Give her your attention. Find somewhere in this enormous church where you can sit for a while, and give some space for silence in your heart. Let the Lord enter into the silence that His Mother has specially prepared for you in her "house."

The miracle of Guadalupe is a gift, not just for Juan Diego or Mexico or "the Americas." It's a gift for you, personally. She is your mother, and you are more dear to her heart than you can possibly imagine. How could it be otherwise? Jesus is your brother.

He speaks to her from the Cross about you: "Woman, behold your son" (John 19:26). He also speaks to you: "Behold, your mother!" (John 19:27).

So go to Guadalupe. If you have been there already, go again! She will bring the tenderness of God's love close to you in all your sorrows and fears. She will begin to untie the knots. She will draw you closer to Jesus.