Gospel Reflections

Feasts of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego

Luke 1:26-38

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Virginia Egwuchukwu

Published: December 12, 2015

This feast is a remarkable example of a special encounter with Mary, the Mother of God, with a man, Juan Diego, on a hill in Mexico! For me, it is another special feast of Mary, as I try to celebrate in prayer and action the feasts of the Blessed Virgin. I find a lot of encouragement in her presence. All her feasts denote a person who is blessed, holy, sinless from birth, beloved of God, exempted from evil, a special one and a virgin. All her qualities show that God saw her future and gave her a huge responsibility; she proved herself worthy of her call! She asks her children to do the same!

GOSPEL LK.1:26-38.
The carrier of good news is the Angel Gabriel who brings God’s message to the Blessed Virgin Mary and he greets her, “Hail, full of grace’ the Lord is with you.” Mary does not know who the angel Gabriel is nor has she seen the angel before now. As she wonders with some fright, we do understand why she ponders in her heart the meaning of such a salutation. Mary begins to comprehend slowly the greeting, She experiences God’s goodness, mercy and compassion. We call her immaculate and on this feast Juan Diego recognizes her beauty and goodness. She responds with a shower of roses. When we celebrate this feast and all Mary’s feasts, we see God’s compassion on humankind and we rejoice that she merits salvation for us through her Son.

The angel calms Mary’s spirit when he says: “Do not be afraid, Mary…” These are good tidings he brings to her. Yet she needs clarity with assurance and this is the reason she says to the angel, but how? She knows her private vow to God. The angel explains: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you…” At this, Mary sees the intervention of God in what is beyond her. She trusts and accepts too. Her spirit of worship and service brings God’s spirit to her! St. Paul says that all who are moved by the spirit are children of God. Like Mary, we are called to live in the spirit as Christians. The angel gives her more hope in letting her know about her cousin Elizabeth who is six months pregnant. In this good news about Elizabeth, Mary recognizes that nothing is impossible with God. Her joy sends her to the hill country to her cousin Elizabeth.

On Tepeyac Hill, Juan hears and sees Mary; he realizes his call to proclaim her as Mother of God and to spend his life in proclaiming God’s goodness. Like Mary and like Juan Diego, we, as Christians, are called to listen to the Spirit, in peace and unity, and in singing the praises of our God of love. We respond daily, in these troubled times, by our loving actions given for God and for others.

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