Friday, December 12, 2008

Reflection on Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Sister Mary Ann Verkamp, OSB

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6, 10ab; Luke 1:39-47

Reflection by Sister Mary Ann Verkamp
Monastery librarian, chauffeur, gift shop staff
Some of us may think this is a Mexican feast, however, Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared “Patroness of the Americas” by Pope Pius XII in 1946. I personally like to think of her as “Mother of the Marginalized.”

In 1531 Mary appeared to a marginalized Indian peasant and said that she wanted to be known as “Our Lady of Guadalupe.” Many people today do not know the origin of the word “Guadalupe.” Some believe that our Lady used the Aztec Nahuatl word of “coatlaxopeuh,” which is pronounced “quatlasupe” and sounds like the Spanish word Guadalupe. “Coa” means serpent; “tla” can be translated as “the,” and “xopeuh” means to crush. So Our Lady called herself the “one who crushes the serpent.”

This title fits perfectly with today’s first reading from the Book of Revelation. The woman is in a truly difficult situation but the forces of evil are destroyed by God’s saving power. In the Gospel passage from Luke, Mary is presented as the true believer in God’s protective love especially for the poor.

Let us implore Our Lady of Guadalupe to intercede for us, for our nation and our world.

Mother of the homeless, pray for us
Mother of the unemployed, pray for us
Mother of the uninsured, pray for us
Mother of all immigrants, pray for us
Mother of all people with disabilities, pray for us
Mother of all on death row, pray for us
Mother of all victims of war, pray for us

We come before you, dear Lady of Guadalupe, to ask you to teach us how to crush the evil of discrimination, alienation, indifference, and aversion for certain persons and groups of people in our society. May we be God’s handmaid and proclaim the Lord’s greatness as we strive to bring all people under your protective mantle.
Click here for more reflections on the Advent readings on our web page.

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