Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Homily for Our Lady of Guadalupe

While the nature of history is vigorously debated among specialists today, for most of us it remains a re-telling of great men and women, of great events, great ideas, and great nations fighting great battles.

Being an amateur of history, and knowing something of the anti-Catholic regime in Mexico during most of the 20th century, I visited there for the first time this spring expecting to find a relatively moribund Catholic Church, with outbreaks of interest here and there. I was pleasantly surprised and edified to find that the Church, at least in the places that I visited, is still the defining instution for many of the people. Vocations are high, and fiestas are religious and full of life.

We ended our visit there with the obligatory trip to the Basilica of Our Lady outside Mexico City. This was a moving experience for me for many reasons. I will leave you with one. As we confront the dangers of secularization in the Church in the United States, the tendency among us is to look for great leaders, for great plans, for programs and projects to evangelize and catechize, to entice young men and women to religious life and to energize the laity. While these efforts are good and have their place, we should call to mind the roots of the Church. Our Savior was Himself a carpenter from an obscure town in Galilee, and He called fishermen to be his top-ranking disciples. When His Mother made her appearance and changed the future history of the land of Mexico, she did not appear to a bishop, or to any clergyman, to a great theologian or a great leader.

She appeared to the peasant Juan Diego. Would that we were as simple as he.

1 comment:

The Archer of the Forest said...

I love our Lady of Guadelupe. It is such a great story.


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