Pope celebrates Mass for feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
By Christopher Wells
Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter’s Basilica on Saturday morning.
Under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Blessed Virgin Mary is honoured as the Empress, Patroness and Mother of the Americas, and especially of Latin America. Seminarians from Latin American countries, as well as official ambassadorial delegations, were in attendance at Saturday’s Mass, although the number of participants was limited due to coronavirus precautions.
God gives in abundance
In his homily, Pope Francis focused on three key concepts — abundance, blessing, and gift — which are reflected in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“God always offers Himself in abundance,” the Pope said. God does not give Himself in “doses,” although He is patient with our limitations, our need for “comfortable quotas.” Instead, He gives Himself completely, because, the Pope said, it is impossible for Him to do otherwise.
God blesses by His gift of Himself
The second idea, “blessing,” “to say what is good,” is found on the very first page of Scripture, in the story of Creation from the book of Genesis. God, seeing His Creation, declares that it is “good,” and “very good.” “God’s ‘style’ is always to say what is good,” said Pope Francis; and conversely, “to curse [to speak evil] is the style of the devil, of the enemy.”
“God always says what is good,” the Pope repeated. “He says it with pleasure. He says it by giving Himself,” and by giving Himself in abundance.
The gift of abundance and blessing
These two realities, abundance and blessing, are a gift, a present to us that contains “all grace, all that He is, all [of His] divinity,” that comes to us in “the Blessed One,” Jesus, God’s Only-begotten Son, the Son of Mary.
Jesus, who is “Blessed” in Himself, by nature, is God’s gift to us; He is given to us through Mary, who is “blessed among women” through God’s grace. This, said Pope Francis, “is the gift that God presents to us, and which He has continually desired to emphasize, to re-awaken, throughout revelation: Blessed are you among women, for you have brought us the Blessed One.”
“Stealing” God’s style
“As we contemplate the image of our mother today,” the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, “let us ‘steal’ from God a little of His style,” Pope Francis said: the style of “generosity; abundance; blessing, never cursing; transforming our life into a gift, a gift for all. Let it be so.”
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Pope Francis prayed before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe – a replica of the famous “tilma” preserved in Mexico City – which was displayed near the altar.