Advent Day 15 – Good News for December 12

12 12 2010

Matthew 11:2-11

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.

Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

The Daily Path: I credit Our Lady of Guadalupe for the miracle that led me back to her son. Mary is the ultimate intervenor on our behalf. What son can refuse his mother? If you are in doubt, troubled, or in pain, seek her out. She may ask something of you, but I know from my own experience that the Lady keeps her word.

Early on the morning of December 9, 1531, (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception), near Mexico City, a peasant Juan Diego saw a vision of a young girl of fifteen or sixteen, surrounded by light, on the slopes of the Hill of Tepeyac. Speaking in the local language, Nahuatl, the Lady asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor, and from her words Juan Diego recognized her as the Virgin Mary. Diego told his story to the Spanish bishop, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, who instructed him to return and ask the Lady for a miraculous sign to prove her claim. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather some flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. It was winter and no flowers bloomed, but on the hilltop Diego found flowers of every sort, and the Virgin herself arranged them in his peasant cloak. When Juan Diego opened the cloak before Zumárraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor, and in their place was the Virgin of Guadalupe, miraculously imprinted on the fabric.

The words spoken by Our Lady to Juan Diego on this day in 1531: Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?

Our Mother – Good News for December 12

12 12 2008

Luke 1:39-47

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” 

The Daily Path: Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I encourage you to read the story of Our Lady’s appearance in 1531 to a native by the name of Juan Diego near Mexico City. She is the patroness of North America and protector of the poor and needy.

Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus, has played an important role in my life since my parents offered me up to Her as an infant. I often visit the Chapel at St. Mary’s College for contemplation and prayer. My favorite place to do so is in front of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On numerous occasions, in the quiet peace of the chapel, I’ve asked Our Lady to carry my prayers to Her Son on my behalf. I know that some of these prayers have been answered. 

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. You are blessed among women. And blessed is your Son, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for this sinner and all sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.