Joining several thousand faithful, Archbishop Gomez celebrated the annual midnight Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. His homily was delivered in Spanish. The English translation follows.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
On this beautiful night, we thank God for sending his gift of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In times of persecution and in times of sorrow, she has always been our mother.
She left us this picture of herself on the tilma because she wanted us to see her face, her compassionate and merciful gaze. So we could know the beauty of her love for us.
We see in her eyes — a Mother who rejoices when her children are happy, a Mother who weeps when her children are suffering and bends down to take us by the hand and lift us up.
In that beautiful reading tonight from the book of Ecclesiasticus, Our Lady speaks to us, she tells us:
I am the mother of fair love, of the fear of knowledge and of holy hope.
In me there is all the grace of the way and the truth, all hope of life and virtue.
And of course, we know, this is how the Virgin appeared to St. Juan Diego — as a tender Mother.
We remember the story, how she called to him from the top of the hill, called him to come and be close to her. She called him “Juanito,” her little boy, her dearest son.
But, as we know, she comes not only as the mother of Juan Diego. Our Lady of Guadalupe announced that she is the Mother of all of us!
We remember her words: “Truly I am honored to be your compassionate mother, yours and that of all the people that live together in this land, and also of all the other various lineages of men, those who love me, those who cry to me, those who seek me, those who trust in me.”
The Virgin of Guadalupe is the Mother of God and she is the Mother of all of God’s children — your mother and my mother.
The Virgin reminds us that beyond the color of our skin or the countries where we come from, we are all brothers and sisters. We are — every one of us, there are no exceptions! — all of us are children of one heavenly Father and we have the Mother of God as our mother.
Brothers and sisters, all of us Guadalupanos: tonight Our Lady is calling us to listen for her voice, to be guided by her words and her example.
Like a mother takes her child by the hand, let her lead you. Let her gather you up and take you into her arms. Let her lead you to Jesus! What is anything worth if we are not close to Jesus? If we are not close to his Mother?
Our Lady of Guadalupe is calling each one you to do something special for her, just as she called St. Juan Diego.
We remember the holy story, how she said to him: “Listen, my youngest son, know for sure that I have no lack of servants, of messengers, to whom I can give the task of carrying my breath, my words, to that they carry out my will. But it is necessary that you, personally go and plead, that by your intercession, my wish, my will, become a reality.”
Brothers and sisters, Our Lady is speaking those words to each one of us tonight. She is telling each one of us, personally, — it is necessary that you go. No one else can go where Our Lady is sending you.
The Virgin’s will is always to do God’s will — to bring Jesus to heart and every soul.
This is what she was asking St. Juan Diego to do. And this is what she is asking you to do. You are messengers and missionaries, each one of you, each in your own way — you are called to carry Jesus Christ into every situation in your life.
As we see in our Gospel tonight, the story of her “visitation” to her cousin, St. Elizabeth, when Mary walked into the room, carrying Jesus, everything changed! Elizabeth cries out in joy, the child, St. John the Baptist, leaps in her womb! This is what the encounter with Jesus does. It changes things. It brings joy.
This is how Our Lady of Guadalupe wants us to live. Proclaiming Jesus Christ — all the great things that the Lord has done in our lives.
The heart of our Mother is immaculate, and it is filled with sweetness. She is the Mother of fair love, beautiful love, a love that is divine. By her love she shows us and leads us into the very heart of God.
And this the kind of love she wants us to have for everyone in our lives.
Our Lady is calling us tonight to be like Jesus in the way we think and in the way we treat other people. She is calling us to be like Jesus in the way we respond to the struggles in our lives and to the challenges we face in the Church.
As the Gospel tells us tonight, Mary believed the word that the Lord spoke to her and she was blessed. Brothers and sisters, we are called to have that same trust that Mary had.
Let us always remember her words: “Do not let your heart be disturbed. Do not fear. ... Am I, your Mother, not here? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Are you not in the folds of my arms? What more do you need?”
Our Lady goes with us. We go always in her gaze. She takes our hand, like a mother, and she guides us along the pathways that lead us to her Son. Always. Let us lay all our hopes and fears at the feet of the Virgin.
¡Que Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!
¡Que viva San Juan Diego!
¡Que viva San Junípero Serra!
¡Que viva San Oscar Romero!
¡Que viva San Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio!
¡Que viva Cristo Rey!
¡Que viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!
¡Que viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Madre del Amor Hermoso, ¡ruega por nosotros!