By: Laura Worhacz
Behold, at last “the strong woman,” the predestined Mother of the Messiah!” - Saint Peter Julian Eymard (Eymard Library, Vol. 7, page 28)
Dearest Eucharistic family,
Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Looking at all the times that our Blessed Mother has come to earth to visit us, we find that the appearance to Saint Juan Diego is one that is so unique. Our Mother comes to us with an appeal to the poor, to her children, standing against oppression. Mary is the example of “the strong woman” (St. Peter Julian); she is depicted in the image of Guadalupe standing on the moon god, the god of night. The angel under her feet was seen by the natives as a god. Mary stands over this, carrying Jesus in her womb. She comes with a message of justice enfolded in the mercy of Christ. Mary is representing life, the unborn, and the sacredness of humanity as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The conversion of thousands upon thousands of God’s children was made possible by our Lady’s intercession in her apparitions on Tepeyacac Hill. To me, the most fascinating part of God leaving our Lady’s image on the tilma of Saint Juan Diego, is what was identified in her eyes. There, on the cloak enshrined within the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, is Juan Diego’s reflection in the eyes of our Blessed Mother. Every remembrance of this brings tears of joy to my own eyes and reminds me of the eye as the light to our souls.
“The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eyes are sound, then your whole body is filled with light, but when they are bad, then your body is in darkness” (Luke 11: 34). Prayer to our Lady brings clarity to our vision. We learn to see with Mary, all through the lens of the Eucharist. Espoused to the Holy Spirit, our Mother helps us find divine wisdom and understanding. She teaches us how to love and to grow strong. To be in the eyes of Mary, we look to her as Juan Diego did, with superhuman magnificence. In the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we learn how to carry the Blessed Sacrament with reverence in the sacredness of our humanity when we receive the Eucharist. We learn to grow strong and to recognize that our trials will keep us at the feet of Jesus.
Tomorrow we celebrate Gaudete Sunday. In this Advent season we continue to wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior. We look with eyes of hope and joy for the celebration of Christmas in longing for Christ’ peace now, and in anticipation of His second coming to earth. As we keep our eyes on the Star of Bethlehem, let us look into the stars of the eyes of our loved ones. Let our gift to our Eucharistic King be our love for one another.