|Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, |
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC
December 8 we celebrate Mary graced in her conception and December 12 we celebrate her pregnant with Jesus, visiting her cousin Elizabeth pregnant with John the Baptist. Both celebrations belong to our preparation during advent for the new coming of Jesus into our hearts and lives and history, a new birth in us and a new manifestation of and through us of Him our savior.
Mary was conceived bodywise, as are we, by the lovemaking of her father Joachim and her mother Anne, open to giving life to her their child. She was conceived soulwise, mercied, chosen, graced to be the virgin mother of our anointed savior. At the annunciation of the angel to her before her conception of Jesus, she was greeted as fully graced, highly favored, much loved (Luke 1). So she was from her own conception. She is to be the virgin mother and companion and friend of our revolutionary warrior Jesus freeing and uniting us to be His family of friends. She, wife of Joseph carpenter of Nazareth, was conceived in view of her identity and life and mission. She is holy Mary. We hold her graced conception based on the revelation entrusted to the church.
We pray easily and gladly to Mary to pray for and with us to Jesus for the wine we need each day, each hour, each moment (John 2). We move and grow in her presence, her thought and affection; we are entrusted to her by Jesus as our mother and companion and friend (John 19).
Mary and her husband and companion and friend Joseph are the humbled and humble married couple of Nazareth and are especially close to humbled and humble people of every time and place. We are not surprised at her visit to Juan Diego in 1531 and to his Aztec people of what is now Mexico. She comes as Mary wife of Joseph, carrying Jesus, helping her older pregnant cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zachariah, singing her trust in our merciful Father by His Breath with and like and through His and her Child in her womb (Luke 1). She attracts many Christians and other religious people today, also humanists and secularists. Mary is the hoped-for and promised and now present woman (Genesis 3, Revelation 12, Galatians 4). She is the new woman freed and united and so freeing and uniting us brothers and sisters with our home and duration to be trustful before our Creator and helpful among ourselves His creatures.
Mary la Morenita, the little brown one, with Joseph, leads us to share Jesus and His way for us with our brothers and sisters in the new evangelization today, the second five hundred years in America and the third thousand years in the world at large since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus for our redemption especially through His passion and resurrection. She with Joseph invites us to be missionary disciples in the merciful revolution of Jesus for people today. She wants us like the Spanish newcomers and the Aztec natives at the time and place of Juan Diego to be one family of friends of her and Joseph and Jesus.