Monday, 12 December 2016 : 3rd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Guadalupe)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we honour and praise Mary, the Mother of God and our greatest intercessor before her own Son, who have appeared numerous times to mankind throughout the ages, in order to remind the people of God, who have been entrusted to her care, that they should reject their old sinful way of life and embrace anew the love and mercy of God.

And today, we commemorate that moment almost five centuries ago when she appeared to a saint, St. John Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin in the New World, now known as Mexico, the site of which now is the site of a great church and Basilica dedicated to her, as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron of the Americas and the New World, through whom many millions and more of souls have been converted to God.

Through Mary, God had endeavoured to make fulfilled His great promises to us mankind, and therefore, to that extent, He had set her aside and blessed her more than any other men or women, giving her the sole exception of being conceived without the taints of the original sins, which we celebrate just a few days ago at the Solemnity and Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

But even more than that, not just that Mary had been prepared by being freed from the corruption of sin, so that she would be worthy to be the vessel and Ark of the New Covenant, but throughout her life, she has dedicated her whole life to a life of purity and obedience towards the Lord and His laws. She is a paragon of faith and virtue, and an example to all of us Christians.

Through her we have seen what we should do as Christians, in obeying not our own will, but instead the will of God. We should devote ourselves and our time, our whole being to the Lord, as Mary had done. We may think that this is easy to be done, but in reality, there are many temptations and pressure for us to do otherwise. And when troubles and challenges come, it is easy for us to compromise and to lose our path.

But Mary remained faithful throughout, despite the pains and sufferings she had to endure. She watched her Son being persecuted with His disciples at the hands of the Jewish elders and the Pharisees, who opposed Him and disagreed with His ways and teachings, preferring to continue living in their wicked and corrupt ways. And she had to endure the greatest suffering of all, as a mother to see the death of her own Son on the cross. And yet, Mary continued to be faithful and dedicated to the mission entrusted to her.

That was why people like the Pharisees and the elders found it difficult to believe, because they were entangled by the temptations of power and worldly glory, by the lures of worldly goodness, by all the temptations of the flesh and the heart. They refused to believe in Jesus because of their pride and greed. They led the people as their shepherds not because they cared for them, but instead, they wanted more power, influence, fame and wealth for themselves, while others suffered under them.

Mary showed us all an example of how we should live our lives. While others embraced the demands of their greed and pride, succumbing to the temptations of power and money, she as the one to whom the Archangel Gabriel had announced to be the mother of Lord, Saviour and indeed Master of the whole Universe, remained humble and was not distracted from the task God entrusted to her, and she remained true and devoted to Him, even when the whole world was against her and Jesus her Son.

She has been entrusted by Jesus her Son on the cross to John His disciple, and John has similarly been entrusted to her care. In this symbolic trust, our Lord Jesus has entrusted all of humanity to the care of His mother Mary, who then after her Assumption into heaven, did not forget about us but continued to help us in various ways, as our greatest intercessor before God, and through her various apparitions in order to pass on her messages, calling the people of God to repentance and righteousness in Jesus.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are called to reflect on our own lives and actions. Have we been faithful to the Lord in the same way that Mary had been faithful? Have we obeyed the Lord and His commandments in the same manner that she had bene faithful and obedient? And when troubles and challenges come, do we seek to compromise and to negotiate our way out of trouble by obeying what the world asked of us, or have we instead been like Mary who persevered through and kept her faith?

Let us all ask ourselves these questions as we gather together and reflect on our lives today. Let us all devote ourselves to seek a renewal of our faith in God, and be truly devoted as Mary, the mother of our Lord had been. If God would raise Mary His mother up high because of her virtues, and blessed her more than anyone else, surely He will also bless us all if we remain faithful to Him and keep our faith amidst the challenges of the world.

May the Lord help us all to persevere through this life, that we will remain ever faithful to Him, and that we may remain true to our path towards salvation. Let us all direct our prayers to Him and ask for the intercession of His blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, for her prayers and intercessions for our sake. Through her, and by following her example, we shall find our path to justification and righteousness in God. May God bless us all. Amen.

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