Dear parish family,
The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one I look forward to every year. As a MexicanAmerican this feast holds a very special place in my heart. As a child my parents instilled in us a deep love and devotion for Our Lady of Guadalupe. As children, we participated in a beautiful tradition of dressing up in Native Tarasco outfits to make our pilgrimage to the parish and present ourselves to her and give her our gift of love and gratitude through a bouquet of roses. This was no easy task for a young child to get up at 3 in the morning, if we wanted to make it inside the packed church, but we all did it with such love and joy. We participated in the “Mañanitas” and sunrise Mass, where the parish choirs and members of the community would serenade with traditional songs and the Matachines and Aztec dancers offer their dance as an expression of prayer. It made such an impact to see her surrounded in what seemed like an ocean of fragrant flowers, all gifts of hope, love and gratitude for the miracles that through the intercession of Our Lady have been granted. A fitting tribute to offer our gifts of time and talent to celebrate Our Holy Mother.
As I have grown up I have been able to see past the deserved fanfare celebration. I recognize now how Our Lady has been our Advent countdown to prepare to welcome Jesus in our hearts and homes. Just like every week of Advent is dedicated to a virtue, through Our Lady we get to experience this as well. We come to her filled with HOPE, knowing that she will take our petitions to our God. We experience God’s PEACE as we are held in her comforting and loving embrace, knowing she has heard us and will be our advocate. We are filled with JOY, in the answer to our prayers. Even in those moments that the answer may not be what we wanted, but recognize God’s response to our prayers is perfect and better than what we could have imagined. We become enveloped in LOVE, in knowing we are valuable, seen and heard by our loving God and his mother. Knowing this only makes my love for Our Blessed Mother grow stronger.
This Advent season let us follow Mary’s example and prepare our hearts to receive Jesus in our midst. She is the best example on how to love him. She left her image for us to be reminded she is
with us, we are not alone as we face life’s challenges. She will be there to pick
us up when we stumble and lead us back on our path.