My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Guadalupanos,1
What a beautiful night to honor our Mother with this beautiful Serenata, with Holy mass and mañanitas celebration.
This Cathedral is a special sanctuary in our city, as you all know. Just a few feet away in our beautiful golden chapel, we have a tiny, precious relic of San Juan Diego’s tilma, the cloth that was filled with roses and then transformed into the image of our Mother, the Virgin of Guadalupe!
This relic connects Los Angeles in a deep spiritual way with Mexico City and all the Americas!
The miracle we remember tonight — this was a miracle performed for us. The apparition at Tepeyac was given that all the peoples of the Americas would know — that God is our Father who loves us and calls us to live as his sons and daughters.
And this miracle tells us that Mary is the Mother of the Americas — but in a more personal way, she is also our tender mother. So tonight we thank God for her tender love and protection. We ask the Virgin tonight to watch over all of us and our families and our children. Especially all those who are poor and vulnerable. All those who are immigrants and refugees.
We ask her help tonight as we continue to struggle for immigration reform in our country. We ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to move the hearts of our politicians and our neighbors — and to lead all of us to a new spirit of welcoming and responsibility for others, regardless of their immigration status.
The miracle of the roses is a message from God that we can always find him in the roses. In the beauty of his creation.
That’s what we heard this evening in our first reading from the Sacred Scriptures. God makes his Wisdom to flow like a river through this world. He makes his Wisdom to shine like a light in the darkness of our world. With the eyes of faith, we can see that everything all around us is the image of his glory and his wisdom.
This is what Our Lady of Guadalupe came to tell us. She came to tell us that our world is filled with God’s presence and love. She came to tell us that God is always working in our world and in our lives.
We need to live with that confidence that God is near! We need to know that he is always near, always speaking to us in every moment of our lives.
Think about the story of the apparition. St. Juan Diego was out walking in the morning. He was doing his chores, taking care of his family. And on his way, in the middle of his path, he meets Our Blessed Mother!
That’s how it is with God! Jesus Christ is always coming into our lives. He is always coming to meet us, no matter where we’re at. Sometimes we don’t recognize him. Sometimes things get too noisy in our lives. We get too busy for him. So we have to try really hard — to keep our eyes, our ears and our hearts open.
This is the lesson we heard in our Gospel reading for this Holy Mass, the beautiful story of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth.
The Virgin Mary comes to St. Elizabeth’s house and Elizabeth knows right away that she is in the presence of Jesus. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb. And she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
St. Elizabeth was able to recognize Jesus Christ because her heart was open to receive God. She was ready to find God working in her life. She was looking for him — and she was expecting to find him.
This is the way we should be living too, my brothers and sisters. Every day, in every moment, we need to be open to God. We need to looking for him, and listening for his voice. We need to always be ready to help God and to receive his gifts.
Mary is our Mother. And she always brings us the gift of Jesus.
Mary carried Jesus to Elizabeth. She brought Elizabeth the joy of knowing that she is a child of God. Mary brought that same joy to St. Juan Diego. And she brings that same joy of God to us, my brothers and sisters.
In our second reading tonight, St. Paul tells us that we are sons and daughters of God! This is the beautiful truth about our lives! God loves us as his very own sons and daughters.
So my brothers and sisters, let’s make a new promise to our Mother tonight! Let’s be good children of God, good Guadalupanos.
1. Readings: Sir. 24:23-31; Gal. 4:4-7; Luke 1:39-48.
Let’s promise to be more open to receive Jesus. Just as Elizabeth was. Just as St. Juan Diego was.
Let’s keep looking for the signs of God’s love everywhere in our lives. And let’s promise to do everything we can to bring Jesus Christ into our families and into our world! Like Mary did and like St. Juan Diego did.
May Our Lady of Guadalupe continue to bless all of us with her maternal protection, and make our love for God grow in our hearts like the roses in San Juan Diego’s tilma.
¡Que Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! ¡Que Viva San Juan Diego!
¡Que Vivan los Mártires Mexicanos! ¡Que Viva Cristo Rey!
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, ¡ruega por nosotros!