By: Sr. Mary Joseph
Juan, Juan, Juan! Come closer! My Son, Juan Diego, whom I love tenderly, like a small and delicate child. Where are you going? (First Apparition)
Am I not here, I who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your life and health? Are you not in my embrace and in my prayers? What else do you need? (Fourth Apparition)
I remember as a young religious the impact these words of Our Lady had at a time of uncertainty and confusion. “Am I not your Mother? What else do you need?”
The incredible power of a mother! I have recently taken to calling it just that, “mommy power”. As women, we can easily lose sight of our “feminine genius” - the ability to give birth to love, a love conceived by a posture of receptivity to Love. It is thus that a mother’s strength is manifested, giving birth to this love time again and again, through her tender availability, compassion and receptivity to the other.
Not too long ago, I shared with my own mother a very deep struggle I was enduring. In her efforts to comfort me, she likened my struggles to that of another story she had heard. I stopped her. I said, “Mom, I’m hurting right now, and I really need you to use your ‘mommy power’. You have the ability to ease my pain simply by hugging me. You can kiss a boo-boo away. And I have experienced my pain lessening just by you praying with me and taking my sufferings to yourself. Please . . . use your ‘mommy power’ now.” And with that we both stopped and she entered into my suffering, we cried together . . . and I stand here to bear witness to the truth - there is nothing that can withstand the power of a mother’s love.
Juan Diego on his way to Mexico City was entrusted by Our Lady with a task that seemed beyond his capabilities to perform. In his confusion, and even his avoidance of her in his attempt to get help for his uncle, she gives him a message that resounds for all of us today “Am I not your Mother? What else do you need?”
Let us give praise and thanks to God on this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe for sending us so beautiful a mother. May she intercede for us for the grace to be receptive to His Word so that we may become spiritual mothers to all of His children on earth. May they know His love and compassion through our own “mommy power” – easing the pain of a suffering world through our acts of love.
¡Viva de Virgen de Guadalupe!
¡Viva Christo Rey!