Monday, December 12, 2011

The Most High Will Overshadow You

December 12, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD. Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people, and he will dwell among you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. Zechariah 2:14-15

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Luke 1:35-37


Remember us, our Lady of Guadalupe. In your appearance to Juan Diego on Mount Tepeyac, you promised to show pity and compassion to all who, loving and trusting you, seek your help and protection. Please listen now to our request and grant us consolation and relief from the temptations of this world so that we can fully respond to the word of the Lord with obedience and stability. In hope, we rely upon your help so that nothing will be able to get in the way of our conversion. As the Mother of the Americas, intercede for us to be granted the graces we need in our Fourth Day. Amen.


The image of a pregnant woman makes it easy to understand how God dwelled within Mary. Her actions and reactions to the news delivered by the archangel Gabrielle cemented that understanding. In this way, Mary's obedience is the perfect contrast to Eve's disobedience in the Garden.

Mary's study of the prophets probably made her intimately familiar with the words of the prophet Isaiah from whom we have been hearing and listening during the Mass this Advent season. On the third Sunday of Advent, we heard a reading from Isaiah 61 which laid the groundwork for the Nazareth mission of Jesus…and the life of his mother. That reading also is echoed today in the Gospel words from Gabriel and in the life of Mary -- "The Holy Spirit will come upon you."

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God. Isaiah 61:1-2a


Our study of this attitude of obedience can not end there. We must take this to fulfillment in our piety and our action.

What are you being asked to obey these days? The new language in the liturgy? The call for social action this holiday season? The pain of your family and friends? The death of loved ones?

No matter how hard the burden, consider the attitude we hear over and over again this season. Advent is only 28 days long. Yet today's reading from Luke will be repeated four times in 28 days -- basically once a week for the entire season. Over and over this season we will hear these words echo: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."

How can this surrender to the word and will of God help us endure life as we await the coming of the promised redeemer Lord? How can you place yourself in the presence of the Lord and offer yourself to Him just as he will offer Himself to you on December 25?

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron of the Americas and has a special place in the Cursillo movement in this hemisphere. She can be of special assistance in this season of waitingness and throughout the rest of the liturgical calendar.