The Gospel reading for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is Luke 1:39-47.

Mary, having accepted God’s will for her to become the “Mother of God” and informed of her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy, travels for four days (some 80 miles) to the hill country of Judea. There are a number of mysterious echoes of the Old Testament which prefigure Mary’s journey.

Elizabeth is miraculously moved by the Holy Spirit upon Mary’s arrival. Without being told Mary is pregnant (only a few weeks into her pregnancy, Mary does not “show”), Elizabeth recognizes (“Blessed are you…blessed is the fruit of your womb”) Mary’s miraculous conception. Elizabeth is divinely inspired to exalt Mary as “the mother of my Lord.” Mysteriously, Mary’s voice is heard by John the Baptist, still three months away from birth in Elizabeth’s womb, and causes John to leap with joy. Mary responds with her beautiful Magnificat (“My soul doth magnify the Lord”).

In today’s Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Church remembers the Holy Mother’s appearances to Juan Diego in Guadalupe Mexico in 1531.  Our Lady of Guadalupe left a miraculous image of herself on Diego’s cloak (unexplainable by science) which ultimately led to the mass conversion of millions of people to Catholicism and the eradication of the Aztec death cult which offered human sacrifice by slaughtering many thousands of humans each year. Patroness of Americas, Our Lady is venerated at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse Wisconsin.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ even in the earliest stages of gestation in Mary’s womb has a powerful impact on Elizabeth and the unborn John. Divine King, Christ’s presence causes Elizabeth to be the first to recognize Mary’s Queenship (in ancient Jewish culture, the mother of the king was queen). Divine Prophet, Christ inspires mysterious connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) While the beautiful devotion of the Rosary has been prayed in some form for 1000 years, the key parts of the “Hail Mary” (“Hail Mary, full of Grace..”, “Blessed are you among women…”) are from words in Luke’s Gospel. Marvel that men still today repeat the words uttered by angels and saints in awe of Christ 2000 years ago.

2) The Blessed Virgin Mother’s appearance to Juan Diego is a purposeful intervention of Our Lady in the lives of men; Our Lady’s appearance led to the conversion of millions to Catholicism and the eradication of human sacrifice in Mexico. During Advent, reflect upon Our Mother in the Order of Grace (CCC 967-970) and pray for Christ to help you grow ever closer to Our Blessed Mother.

3) Many men don’t have a relationship with their Holy Mother. During Advent, reflect upon the Veneration of The Blessed Virgin Mary (CCC 487, 971, 2146, 2673-2379) and pray for Christ to draw you to draw close to and build great love for His Mother.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful