Monday, December 12, 2016

“Let the storm rage and the sky darken - not for that shall we be dismayed. If we trust as we should in Mary, we shall recognize in her, the Virgin Most Powerful ‘who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent’.”

“Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you.” - These are the words spoken by the Blessed Mother at Guadalupe to Juan Diego on Dec. 9, 1531

Gospel Text: (LK 1:26-38)
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

"…. let it be done to me as you have said."  In Faith, "Mary follows even without understanding" unlike us who insist on understanding before we follow.  Faith is not 100% certainty but 100% commitment. These are the words of a good priest in one of our parish recollections. 

With simple faith, Juan Diego, a Mexican native of Guadalupe, a farmer, laborer and weaver, abided by Our Lady's request, "I vividly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help, and defense, for I am your most devoted mother . . . to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains, and sufferings."  He allowed himself to be used by the Lord to convey the message in his simple Faith. 

Following the Lord takes faith. We are asked to carry our crosses, give until it hurts, love and forgive unconditionally, have mercy and compassion and serve with full commitment sometimes even to the point of death. Often times we always want to understand the consequences of following the Lord. 

Jesus tells his disciples, "If you have faith even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree, 'Be uprooted and plant yourself in the sea,' and it will obey you." (Lk 17: 6)  Indeed by simplicity and by using the small mustard seed as an example, as long as our faith is true to heart in the belief in the power of God, we can do His will.  Like Mary and Juan Diego, we do not need to fully understand, but by the power of the Holy Spirit we can follow the Lord and do His will.  

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