Pope at Mass: ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe shows God’s closeness to humanity’

Pope Francis presides over Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and urges people across the Americas to look to her as a model for building a culture that cares for everyone, including migrants seeking a better life.

By Devin Watkins

As the Church celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monday, Pope Francis presided over Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

In his homily, the Pope recalled God’s closeness as shown through the Mother of His Son.

“God never stops watching over our world—needy and wounded—to assist it with His compassion and mercy,” he said. “His way of intervening, of manifesting Himself, always surprises us, and fills us with joy.”

Jesus stays near to us

Reflecting on the day’s reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, the Pope noted that God sent His Son, “born of a woman”, to work out our redemption.

“In Jesus, born of Mary,” he said, “the Eternal One enters the precariousness of our time, becomes forever and irreversibly ‘God-with-us’, and walks beside us as brother and companion.”

Jesus, added the Pope, therefore remains close to us as our friend and one with us in everything but sin.

Recovering meaning and dignity

Turning to the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in what is now Mexico in 1531, Pope Francis said the Blessed Virgin Mary went to the Americas to offer God’s consolation at a time of historical upheaval.

“Nearly five centuries ago, at a complicated and difficult time for the inhabitants of the new world, the Lord wanted to transform the upheaval brought about by the encounter between two different worlds into a recovery of meaning and dignity, into openness to the Gospel.”

Salvation amid war and injustice

The Pope connected the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe to our own troubled times.

He recalled the “rumbling of war, growing injustice, famine, poverty and suffering” which makes our horizon seem “bleak and disconcerting”.

Despite these many omens of desolation, said the Pope, God reminds us that even now is a “propitious time of salvation” as the Lord calls us embrace fraternity and set aside selfishness.

“[Mary] wants to stay with us. She begs us to allow her to be our mother, to open our lives to her Son Jesus and to welcome His message so as to learn to love like Him.”

Mary: close to migrants

Speaking off-the-cuff, Pope Francis recalled the many people in the Americas who endure "poverty, exploitation, socio-economic and culturaal colonialism".

“[Mary] is in the midst of the caravans that come in search of freedom traveling northward. She is in the midst of this American people threatened in their identity by a savage and exploitative paganism, wounded by the active preaching of a practical and pragmatic atheism. And she is there. 'I am your Mother,' she says to us.”

Praying for societal renewal

Pope Francis also recalled the launch on Monday of an intercontinental prayer novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Americas, to prepare for the 5th centennial of the Guadalupian apparitions, in 2031.

“I urge all members of the pilgrim Church in the Americas, pastors and faithful,” he said, “to participate in this celebratory journey that aims to promote an encounter with God through Our Lady of Guadalupe, for the renewal of the social and ecclesial fabric of these peoples and communities.”

In conclusion, the Pope prayed that the Lord Jesus might grant everyone days filled with joy and peace, "so that the peace of the Lord may dwell in our hearts and in the hearts of all men and women of good will."

Holy Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

12 December 2022, 19:00