Sunday, December 11, 2005


The noted liturgist, Dr. Pius Parsh, made this marvelous observation about the Virgin Mother of God: "The Eternal Father built for His Son a temple of precious stones, the body and soul of the Immaculate Virgin Mary . . . Since Advent means preparation for receiving God's grace, who could be a better model than she who contained and sheltered Him and was privileged to be a true mother to Him? The mystery of Mary's divine Motherhood demands an extensive role in the Advent liturgies."

Our Blessed Mother is at the heart of the Advent mysteries. Her "Fiat" at Nazareth set in motion the work of our Redemption. Upon her consent to the Eternal Father’s plan, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man. Because of her obedience to the Will of the Father, Mary, "conceived of the Holy Spirit." In today's Gospel, the angel assured Joseph to take Mary, his wife, into his home for the Child conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “Because he will save the people from their sins!”

The Cross! Man’s Redemption! This was the mission of our Divine Savior! If we do not see the shadow of the Cross of Calvary hovering over the Crib of Bethlehem, we miss the point of the Christmas Mystery, entirely! The sacred mysteries of Jesus, Mary and Joseph are never exhausted as we contemplate the Advent/Christmas mysteries.

It is also noteworthy that, during Advent, the Church celebrates two significant Marian feasts. On December 8, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Preserved free from original sin, Mary lives her entire life free from the slightest stain of sin. Not even the slightest venial sin ever tarnished her soul. Moreover, Our Blessed Lady practiced every virtue to its highest degree. Indeed, she is "the highest honor of our race!"

Next, on December 12, the liturgy honors the Mother of God under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1531, she gave Saint Juan Diego a simple, yet profoundly beautiful message. "I am your mother!" This is her message to each of us.

Saint Juan Diego had difficulty delivering Mary's message to Bishop Zumarraga of Mexico City. Our Blessed Mother consoled him with these wonderful words: "Listen my son to what i tell you now. Do not let anything worry or afflict you; do not fear illness nor any troublesome happening or pain. Am I not here, I, who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and my protection? Am I not your life and health? Are you not in my embrace and in my prayers? What else do you need?"

As we savor Our Blessed Mother's words, we enter into the joy of the Christmas Season. Recall them often, especially in times of distress and discouragement. In these days when the truth of Our Lord’s mission is being denied and rejected, let us ask Our Lady in heaven to shower us with graces. We must have her protection from the wiles of Satan and his agents.

When we see the Virgin Mother with Jesus in her arms, we see in Mary our own mother as well. Each one of us can say: “Mary is my mother!" How wonderful! Jesus willed this as he was dying on the cross. On Calvary, Our Blessed Mother gave birth to each of us in the order of grace “with an agony beyond all telling.” Saint Juan Diego teaches us how to love Our Lady with the simple love of a child. With Saint Juan, let us say: “Dear mother in heaven: We love you! Keep us always faithful to the Catholic Church and her teachings!”

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. it never seazes to amaze me the things that have been accomplished when we say yes to God. It comparing the Yes! of Our Blessed Mother to the Yes! of St. Juan Diego one can't help but wonder at the outcome of that response to God's call. Our Blessed Mother gave us her Son, and thus Salvation. St. Juan Diego was the catalyst used by God and Our Lady to convert an entire nation, to the true Christian Faith. Thank you for your reflections Father.

John Paul II’s Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.
Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.
Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.
Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.
We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.
Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever.

His Holiness John Paul II
Mexico, January 1979. Visiting Her Basilica during his first foreign trip as Pope.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Fr. Richard J. Rego said...

Thanks for your comments.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Fr. Richard J. Rego said...

Thank you for your comments! May Our Lady of Guadalupe bless you always!

11:04 PM  

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