Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent: The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
I attended college at the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, all the while living at Saint Mary’s Seminary. At that time, Saint Mary’s was an institute of discernment and formation for men at both the collegiate and graduate school level. This was my first time to ever live away from home. My 4 years there were some of the best in my life. I have nothing but fond memories. One of those memories is of our annual celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. My time in Texas was my first exposure to the Hispanic culture. This included religious ritual, music, and, of course, food! All of these came together in an exciting way every year on December 12, the feast day itself. We celebrated a special Mass, followed by a festive meal. What I remember the most, however, is the image of luminaries all over the seminary property. As the sun would set and evening came upon us, it was truly a beautiful sight.
I have personally always found this day to be one of the most inspiring celebrations of Mary. It, along with the unique and beautiful character of the Hispanic Catholic culture, help me to truly appreciate Mary’s role as intercessor. I read in a reflection earlier this morning that, during one of her interactions with Blessed Juan Diego, Mary said, “…am I not here, I who am your mother?” Mary was and is the bearer of God’s message. It is a message of fidelity to us and constant protection, the reminder that God is ever with us.
FOR REFLECTION: Who are the people who bring light and hope to my life?