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Tonight we have a great privilege of celebrating once again the one who is “the highest honor of our race,” she who is blessed above all the women on earth because God chose her to bear Jesus, His Son. We come to Mary and say with the words of the Angel Gabriel: “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you!” Mary brings us the Lord. That is her purpose in life. And that is why she appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico, to bring the Lord Jesus to that land so that the Indians there may become friends with God. Her presence brought an end to a culture of death based on human sacrifice, and spread God’s love and respect for all life. Therefore, how special are all those who are from the land of Mexico! You were chosen by God to be visited by Mary. And so you are now the highest honor of our race because the Mother of God became one of you when she visited Tepeyac Hill, and you called her Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Morenita! And so you who love her are Guadalupanas. And you have shared her with so many others that now many from Guatamala, Colombia, all of Latin America, also consider themselves Guadalupanas.

Now many from Latin America come as immigrants to the United States of America, and bring with you your strong devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. And this is very important because the history of this land is very harsh. The first immigrants brought with them diseases that caused many of the native Indians to get sick and die. But you bring with you the opposite, you bring the Blessed Virgin Mary who carries in her womb the Lord of Life! Mary said to Juan Diego: “I am the Mother of the one true God, of Him who gives life.” The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe shows Mary with a back band tied around her waist indicating that she is pregnant. And who is she pregnant with? Jesus! So that is why your presence in this new land is so important because America does not respect life anymore. Many babies are sacrificed for money. And that is why you are here. Mary visited your land and now she has sent you out to visit this land. And so you are like Guadalupana Missionaries who through Mary bring the presence of Jesus who gives life. But if you don’t share that devotion and instead seek wealth or power, then it will be like the time of those first immigrants in America and Mary will be unable to conquer the culture of death as she did in Mexico.

So I encourage you to be Guadalupanas so that others will see your witness and know that “The Lord is with you!” God has chosen you. Mary has sent you. Be a true witness to the great miracle that happened at Tapayec that turned your people to God so that the people of this land may have the same opportunity to turn to God. And how do you this? How do you share this great message? Well, of course, by celebrating the events that occurred between December 9th and 12th 1531 like we are doing this week. The Procession we had was a way of showing the people of this town that we have not forgotten. We know why we are Christian. We know why we celebrate Christmas! You also share the message by first knowing the history. Read the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Teach it to your children. Pray to the Virgin. Learn how to pray the Rosary and teach your children. Believe in the Virgin Mary like Juan Diego. Say yes to God as Mary did. Follow Mary’s Son, Jesus. Bring your family to Mass every Sunday. Show kindness and gentleness. Treat each other with respect. Love and protect the gift of life at all stages from the womb to the end of life. Don’t be afraid to be a good Christian, to be a son or daughter of Mary in your home, to respect your parents, to help your brothers and sisters, to love your spouse. Be good Christians at school or at work. Be Guadalupana not just one day a year but every day of the year. You might not feel worthy to spread her message. But neither did Juan Diego who said “please send someone more suitable for I am a nobody.” But Mary said: “There are many I could send but you are the one I have chosen.” All of you are chosen. You are her him ambassadors! Don’t be afraid to share this great news of Mary’s visit to our world in Mexico  

so that others will come to know and love Mary and, therefore, come to know and love Jesus. Amen.

St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church
101 South College Street
Cedartown, GA 30125
(770) 748-1517
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