The December issue of E-voc, offers the following reflection on Our Lady of Guadalupe by S. Janet Gildea.
The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe comes at the midway point of Advent. So appropriate because the image that Mary left us on Juan Diego’s tilma (cloak), the only actual image that we have of her, is a pregnant Mary. The black cinta (belt) around her waist and the four-petal flower over her abdomen signify that she is a woman with child. There is much more symbolism to the image that Our Lady left us on December 12, 1531, but for discerners in Advent, this pregnant Mary is a good companion.
Guadalupe as guide: The beautiful lady of Tepeyac Hill helped humble Juan Diego to understand andaccept his calling: “Juanito, my youngest and dearest son, where are you going?” Then she proceeded to direct his steps, to give him not only the words but the courage to enter the halls of power as her representative and spokesperson. Can you hear her beautiful voice inviting you to a deeper understanding and acceptance of God’s call this Advent?
Guadalupe as consoler: From the brokenness of our lives and our world, divided and polarized as deeply as during the time of the colonial conquest of Mexico, the peaceful presence of Guadalupe invites us into a space of compassion and healing: “Listen, put it into your heart, my youngest and dearest son, that the thing that disturbs you, the thing that afflicts you, is nothing. Do not let your countenance, your heart be disturbed.” Whatever the anxieties that crowd into your Advent heart, she is there to bring her perspective and vision.
Guadalupe as Mother: Jesus gave us his mother as our own from the cross, entrusting us to her care. Her words to Juan Diego and to us from Tepeyac show how deeply Mary has embraced this calling: “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?” Cradled in her arms, close to her heart, our ears are best attuned to the voice of her Son. In her maternal embrace this Advent, what do you hear?
Especially during the novena days before the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 3-12), you might want to read the story of the apparitions: http://www.sancta.org/nican.html.
With Guadalupe as your Advent guide, your consolation, your mother, may Christ come to birth in your discerning heart.