When Our Lady of Guadalupe told St. Juan Diego that she desired a church to be built in the Americas, he set in motion the construction of what is now the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. But there is still work to be done, wrote Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles in a message for the Marian feast day.
“The temple that Our Lady wants is a spiritual temple that is built out of the ‘living stones’ of our lives. Your life and my life,” Gomez wrote in a Dec. 12 message. “Each of us living with the joy of Jesus Christ in our hearts, following his way for our lives, living for the glory of God and for the love of our brothers and sisters.”
“Brothers and sisters, we are the temple that Our Lady wants to build in the Americas!”
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in 1531 to St. Juan Diego on a hill northwest of Mexico City. The Church traditionally observes her feast day on Dec. 12, though some celebrations transferred to Dec. 13 this year because of its accidental occurrence with the Third Sunday of Advent.
Gomez wrote that every Catholic is called to mimic Mary’s ‘fiat,’ or yes, to God’s plan for her life.
“Our role in salvation history is the same as Blessed Mary’s,” he wrote. “You and I — each one of us — is called to bring Jesus Christ into the world, into every area of our lives, by the way we live and by the way we love.”
The archbishop encouraged Catholics to focus on bringing the love of Christ into their families and friendships.
“Through our little efforts, day by day, loving others and trying to live as Jesus taught and as Jesus himself lived — this is how we build the temple that Our Lady of Guadalupe wants us to build,” he wrote.
Gomez challenged Catholics to bring as many people into the Church as possible by 2031, which will mark the 500th jubilee of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“Our world needs Jesus! The United States, every nation in the Americas, needs Jesus,” he wrote.
“We need to tell our neighbors — and more importantly, we need to show our neighbors — that they are loved! We need to show them that Jesus Christ loves us and gave his life to save us. We need to invite our neighbors to place their hands in his hand, so that they can walk by his light and follow him on the path to eternity, to the love that never ends!”
“The Lord has done great things for us! So let us go out and do great things for him! Let us continue to build Our Lady’s temple in the Americas, and to make this a new world of faith!”