Guadalupe’s Mission

Litany of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God our Heavenly Father, Creator through whom we live,

have mercy on us.

God the Son, the One who owns what is near and beyond,

have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,

have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,

have mercy of us.

Holy Mary of Guadalupe, 

pray for us.*

Holy Mary, Mother of America,

Holy Mary, Star of the New Evangelization,

Holy Mary, Perfect and Ever Virgin,

Holy Mary, Mother of the True God,

Holy Mary, Mother worthy of honor and veneration,

Holy Mary, Mother most merciful,

Holy Mary, Mother of those who love you and have confidence in you,

Holy Mary, Mother of those who cry to you and search for you,

Holy Mary, Mother who cures all our pains, miseries, and sorrows,

Holy Mary, Mother who remedies and alleviates our sufferings,

Holy Mary, Mother who keeps us within her compassionate and merciful gaze,

Holy Mary, Mother who shows us her help, love and compassion,

Holy Mary, Mother who chooses those who are humble and simple,

Holy Mary, Mother who graciously repays all who serve her,

Holy Mary, Mother who has us under her shadow and protection,

Holy Mary, Mother who carries us in her embrace,

Holy Mary, Fountain of our joy,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,

spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,

graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray

Almighty and Eternal God, your message of mercy, entrusted to Our Lady of Guadalupe, invites all your children to place all their trust in you. Through the intercession of the mother of your Son, may your message of Merciful Love inflame our hearts that we may be faithful heralds and instruments of this Divine Mercy to the world. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Homily #1 on Feast of Guadalupe

Readings: Rev. 11:19-12:1-6, 10; Judith 13: 18-19; Gospel: Lk. 1:39-47

Looking at the Stars

We hear today in our first reading about “a great sign appearing in heaven,  a woman clothed with the son, the moon underneath her feet, and upon her head a crown of 12 stars.”

Well if we look at our Lady’s mantle in the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we notice her mantle is covered with stars.  The interesting thing is that scientist have studied this mantle and came to realize that the stars on her mantle match exactly how the stars were aligned in the sky the day of one of the apparitions Dec. 12, 1531.   But the stars are aligned not from an earthly or geocentric point of view like how we see the stars from earth, but from a heavenly or heliocentric point of view as she was looking at them from the sun or the heavens.

So, this sign challenges us to ask ourselves, how do we see things, from an earthly or heavenly point of view? We will look at three more parts of the image to help us examine this.

First, in the image our Lady’s head is tilted the same degree of the earth.  Why?  Perhaps so we can remember that like the earth we must tilt so we can absorb the warmth of the Sun (Son).   We should look at this sign and ask, “Do we tilt towards absorbing worldly fame or heavenly gain?”

Secondly, we see in the image that the Virgin of Guadalupe’s eyes are looking down or in the right direction.  This represents humility, but also, we know that through the ribbon around her hands that Our Lady of Guadalupe is pregnant.  Thus, when Mary is looking down; she is looking down to heaven, the place where God is dwelling and that is her focus.   We often lose focus and take our eyes off our Lord and that’s when we start to focus on the darkness and lose sight of what’s important.  What’s important is God’s will, this is what we must bow our head’s to in humility and in this we stay on the right path.   So, the Virgin of Guadalupe teaches us to keep our eyes on the right things, to have a heliocentric or heavenly view, not simply a geocentric or worldly view.

Lastly, we see Mary’s smile represents the joy of being in the presence of God.  We hear in Mary’s Magnificat (the Gospel), “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit exalts in God my savior” (Lk. 1: 47).   We can understand the joy in dwelling in the greatness of God , but that means we must learn how to let God be the savior, not us

Remember our Lady comes as both virgin (single or consecrated) and mother (raising biological/adopted families) and so this lesson applies to all states of life.   When we try to fix things and “save the day even when we are not called to do so” (this is important because sometimes God is calling us to His instrument in solving problems) we look at life from an earthly point of view.  But when we allow God “to be God” we find joy because we allow Him into the situation, and thus into our hearts.  And Aquinas tells us that joy is the result of when we willingly think about/contemplate experiencing the good.   Sometimes we don’t experience joy because we try to be God and fix everything, but also sometimes we don’t experience joy simply because we don’t take time to contemplate the experience of God, to pray and thank God for the good. 

So let us experience joy, the ultimate good by taking in the sign of the Virgin of Guadalupe.  Let us look at her mantle and challenge ourselves to see the stars, to see success or shining in life, not simply from a worldly or geocentric point of view, but from a heavenly Son-centered point of view.  If we do this, we will hear in a loud voice the Kingdom of God and the great blessings that God has in store for us.  Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. 

Homily #2:  Rom. 13:11-12

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light (Rom. 13:11-12)

Guadalupe: Being Clothed with Sun and the Moon beneath our Feet

Our Lady told Juan Bernardino (St. Juan Diego’s uncle) before she healed him to tell Juan Diego to tell the bishop that she is the “Perfect Virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe.”  Why do you think Our Lady emphasized this point?  Well if we remember in today’s readings from Mass, “A great sign appeared in the heavens, A woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of 12 stars”  Mary’s apparition at Guadalupe is a sign of how to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the exhortation of St. Paul in the reading from Romans which is revealed in the very name of Guadalupe.

People have debated the meaning; but many agree that Our Lady used the Aztec word or coa-tla-x-o-pe-uh which is pronounced “Quatasupe” which sounds like the Spanish Guadalupe.  In the Aztec the word is broken down into:

  • has coa= serpent
  •  tla=the one
  • and xopeuh= crush/stamp out

So, our Lady called herself the perfect Virgin, the Lady who crushed the serpent.”  In other words, the one who as St. Paul tells us, “lays aside the works of darkness and puts on the armor of light.”   She encourages us to crush the serpent and put on the armor of light with 3 aspects of her image.

First, she places herself on the St. Juan Diego’s tilma.   The tilma was used for warmth, to carry food, and as a sign of marriage.  From the Christian point of view, her image shows she is clothed with the sun, she basks in the warmth of God’s love.   But from the Aztec point of view, she is blocking the sun god.  The people offered up their blood, bodies, and hearts to feed the Aztec sun god.  But the Lady of Guadalupe by blocking the sun god and standing on top of his home which the Aztecs believed was the moon shoes the symbol of reversing this point of view.   She shows through her image on the tilma that it is not our blood, body, and hearts that feed the sun god and give him life, but that the Son who is God will give his body, blood, his heart to feed us and give us life in the Eucharist.   So, we must go to the Eucharist and clothe ourselves with the Son so we can stop starving ourselves from the love we thirst for.   Our Lord says, “If anyone is thirsty,]let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” (Jn. 7:37) and again, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they shall have their fill” (Matt. 5:6).   So, our lady challenges us through the tilma to be Eucharistic and in that we put on the armor of God and crush the serpent.

Second, she has a bent knee which involves movement.  This is the key to growing in our faith as St. Paul reminds us that our must have a faith animated by charity (Gal. 5: 6).  Yes, we must first and foremost pray and not try to fix everything, but when God calls us to act, we must do so.   Something we must remember when we think God isn’t hearing or answering our prayers is that God always does His part, but are we doing ours.   Mary embodies a great prayer by St. Thomas More which all of us should take to heart.   He prayed, “Lord grant us the grace to work for that for which we pray.”  Mary’s bent knee reminds us to cast of the darkness of being paralyzed when it comes to love and faith, but to put on the armor of dynamic love; a faith animated by love which does not wait for others to do what God has called me to personally do.

Lastly, we see our Lady clothed by the sun.  This represent what is coming out of her through life.   St. Paul calls these, fruits of the flesh or fruits of the Spirit for you shall know a tree by its fruit as our Lord tells us.   St. Paul tells us:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these… But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:19-25).

What do we experience as the fruits of our life?   What do we see springing up in our lives?  Is it strife, impurity, outbursts of anger, or envy or is it love, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control?  Reflecting on the fruits in our lives should be a daily examination of conscience for us so we can realize if we are growing towards and in the Son or away from Him.   These are visible signs of whether we are being clothed with darkness and so missing the Son or being clothed with the Son and the moon under our feet walking by the Spirit.

So, let us cast off darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us be clothed with the Son, clothed with grace, and go forward towards the love, light, and happiness that God invites us to everyday and in every way.   May our blessed Lady of Guadalupe inspire us to accept this invitation now and always.   Amen.