The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe commemorates the apparitions of Mary, the Mother of God, 500 years ago to San Juan Diego. The course of events which transpired can readily be found through any internet search. I would like to convey what this feast means to me today. The appearance of this Palestinian woman is significant in her resemblance to the people of Mexico at a time when imperialistic dismantling of indigenous cultures brought their humanity in question, let alone whether those people had a soul. The hymn of La Guadalupana states her bearing and face were Mexican. The Mother of God is like us!
The significance of La Morenita is in the accompanying presence of Jesus. Her “Yes” to God’s role for her implies Christ’s presence in our “Yes” to God’s role for us. My role as a fire chaplain is one of accompaniment and witness to our human reaction of irrevocable loss. The reaction of the Marine’s mother at Borderline and the reaction of the wife of the campesino crushed by equipment in a strawberry field were elicited from the permanent physical separation of a loved one. To this I give witness, the separation at the border gives the same result. However, this border condition is impermanent and reversible. The dreamer that I am, imagines the day when the travesty of injustice at the border is humanely solved, to the delight of our Father, sisters and brothers.
Holy scripture for this feast speaks of a dragon wanting to devour a child and the mother fleeing to a place prepared by God [Rev. 12: 46] and Mary greeting Elizabeth in the Gospel of Luke. I ask you to join me in prayer. Walk alongside me as I walk my dogs, that the dragon is defeated and families can visit one another without fear, and safely walk in streets. My Marian devotion consists of reflection of the mysteries of Mondays and Thursdays are days when I fast and pray for families: pregnancies, births, baptisms, marriages and the preparation of couples of those people that come to mind. The other days I
prayerfully call to mind the individuals and families sorrowing through death, illness, and insecurity interspersed with praise and gratitude. The mood may vary from Let It Be, Good Day Sunshine, or Imagine. Pray for the reformation of laws and policies that separate us from one another and from God, is my default mode.
I believe Jerusalem does not need another wall. I believe that we have responsibility for our collective role as a country for the conditions at the border. If you think detention and deportation is the sole solution, please read the government publications I have listed. It is from such the alien is in our midst. I believe with God’s help we can make Jerusalem the city where the tribes go up.
May this Advent Season bring us to the Word made flesh dwelling among us.
Deacon Arnold Reyes
The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America: Sadism as an Instrument of Cartel Warfare apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a599872.pdf
Gangs in Central America fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34112.pdf