"I Am Your Mother."

The transforming message of Guadalupe.

Guadalupe offers love and reconciliationOut of all the devastation the Indians faced, Guadalupe says to Juan Diego, “I’d like you to build me a casita here so that I may show forth my love, my hope, my compassion, my defense of you, to all of you, to all the inhabitants of this land, to all of you who call upon me, love me, and trust me. I hear your devastation and your suffering and your pain, and I will respond.” She tells him, “I am your mother who will love, help, defend, and protect you.”

And to whom does she say it? She doesn’t say it only to the Spaniards or to the Indians, but she says it to all the inhabitants of the land. Although the world may reject us, God gives us a place in the world.

For some Latinos, the Guadalupe story is the lifeline to their culture, their homeland.

Marian devotion on the part of Latinos is reciprocal. They’re sympathetic because she lost her son, and they know she understands what it’s like to lose a son, maybe not on the cross, but to drugs, to poverty, to violence, to illiteracy.

Guadalupe resurrects a notion of a more loving, an unconditionally accepting God. Guadalupe’s message is so transformative because it’s so accessible. How could you not respond to someone who offers you love, compassion, and help—when someone promises you that they’re going to be there to hear your sorrows and pains?

She resurrects that unconditional love of God. Her presence among the poor once again reminds us of the original intent of the biblical God of liberation and the message of Jesus. She was able to reconcile the Spaniards and the Indians, two groups of people that had absolutely nothing in common and could not come together. Looking at contemporary situations of conflict, can she still play the role of reconciler personally and physically for those of us who struggle with not being one or the other?

—Excerpted from U.S. Catholic magazine

Your turn:

  • How can you be a reconciler?
  • Have you ever felt rejected because of your class, race, or origin?

United in faith

Felicity was not an opportunist. She was the servant of Perpetua, a young rich woman in Carthage. The church celebrates them together as saints at the same level. Society separated them because of their different class, but in faith and in death, and in the memory of Christians, they are forever united. When they were both preparing for Baptism, they were arrested and thrown to the lions. They died in 203 A.D.

  • Have you ever been separated or alienated from other people because of social status?
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