Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe

   For the second year in a row I am on the road for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Last year I was in Paduca, KY, this year in Pahokee, FL.  As I have pointed out previously those who know me know that my preferred style of spirituality is not highly devotional, yet when I participate in this feast I am fully drawn into it. I beleive that the reason for that is the sincerity and authenticity of the people, and the power that this feast represents in their life and culture.   We Americans can be so much in our head as we worship and pray.  We hesitate to clap, sing and express our faith emotionally.  None of that here. Everyone is fully into it.  The little video clip was made at 5 AM today, not an hour when I'm usually awake, before most of the folks headed off to work in the sugar can fields around here.
   This feast is so important in the lives of people from Mexico and Central America because it represents a moment when God clearly was revealed as on the side of the poor.  At a time when the Spanish missionaries and Church leaders were debating as to whether the native peoples even had a soul the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego and imprinted an image of herself on his cloak for him to show to the bishop.
   While many of us who are of a scientific bent may raise questions to how this may have happened, I leave those questions aside and simply see it as a sign that God was saying, "You cannot neglect these wonderful people. They need to hear the Gospel too. They are part of my Church."  Today as well as we struggle with issues of immigration reform we would to well to heed the message of Guadalupe.

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