by Rev. Ray East
A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars (Rev 12:1)
We Advent peacemakers cannot overestimate the importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to those who are poor, oppressed, or imprisoned. From the family without papers in Alabama to the landless campesinos in Chiapas to the former gang member in an overcrowded California prison, we all seek protection under her tilma or mantle. Of the Lectionary options, I suggest Revelation 11:19—12:10. John the Evangelist’s description of the sun-clothed, star-crowned mother is miraculously mirrored in the image on Juan Diego’s yucca tilma. Also read aloud the first gospel selection, Luke 1:26-38. Every meeting San Juan Diego had with the beautiful lady is a distant echo of that saving exchange between Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary. Rising before dawn this day with millions of “Guadalupanas,” let us together listen as “la Morenita”—the brown-hued, Expectant Queen—whispers, “Am I not your Mother too?”
Have you felt the healing, loving care of Our Lady of Guadalupe?
Can you identify with the plight of those who desperately seek her protection?
*This reflection originally appeared in Pax Christi USA’s Advent reflection booklet, Unshakeable Belief: Advent 2013.