Celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe
Last fall, I participated in a demonstration to support 11 pilgrims on a 50-mile journey through central Indiana. We welcomed the group who had walked from Anderson to Indianapolis to call for a dignified pathway to citizenship for immigrants, millions of whom have lived in the shadows of our country for years. We prayed and sang together, mindful of the passing cars, of the pilgrims making their way to us, and of those who feel powerless to speak out for fear of their own deportation.
During this experience, I was aware of Mary’s empowering presence. So many of our prayers and songs called on her for strength and accompaniment. Our meditative recitation of the rosary invoked her prayers. In the song, “Santa María del Camino,” we sang together,
“Ven con nosotros a caminar, Santa María, ven.” Come walk with us, Holy Mary, come.
The song continued, “Aunque te digan algunos que nada puede cambiar…aunque parezcan tus pasos inútil caminar…”
Even when some tell you that nothing can change … even when your steps seem useless to walk.
The spirited melody beckoned us …Work for truth … Others will follow … You’re never alone … Mary walks with you.
For the Mexican people and for many Catholics throughout the world, Mary in the person of Our Lady of Guadalupe echoes the empowering presence I felt on that November day. She, who appeared as a mestiza (woman pregnant with God) invites us to celebrate cultural gifts that bear God to us. She, who called Juan Diego, an indigenous convert to Christianity to incredible acts of faith, calls us to dream the impossible with courage. She, who was met by authorities with skepticism and asked repeatedly to prove her own identity, stands in solidarity with those whose identity is reduced to their status as “legal” or “illegal.”
Today, her words to Juan Diego continue to beckon, challenge, empower and comfort us:
“Let not your heart be disturbed … Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”
I invite you to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe in your own way today. What act of faith might she be calling you to? For some, this may mean learning more about her or integrating her message into your lives. For others, this may mean attending a mass or celebration of Our Lady’s feast in your area.
If you’re in Terre Haute, join us at St. Margaret Mary for Spanish mass at 7 p.m. followed by a pitch-in reception — hope to see you there!
Comment below to share how you are honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe today!