On July 8, Archbishop Gomez celebrated Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City for more than 200 pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and for the prayer intentions of the whole family of God in Los Angeles. The following is adapted from his homily.
What a privilege to be here in this holy place, in the presence of this sacred tilma. I am so happy to see so many of you come to make this pilgrimage to pay homage to our Blessed Mother.
Ever since I was a young boy and we would come here as a family, I have always felt a profound sense of peace here.
The virgin is our mother, and she loves us so much that she wanted us to have a “portrait” of her face. She wanted us to be able to look into her eyes and to know how much she loves us.
This holy tilma is a miracle of Our Lady’s love, a treasure that she gives to each of us.
So, as we pray today in the presence of this sacred image, we know that she is with us, and that she is so happy that we have come to worship her Son, who we love with all our hearts and all our strength.
The beautiful truth is that we are sons and daughters of God, as St. Paul says in the second reading today. “God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ ”
In the presence of our mother’s loving eyes, let us reflect on that truth. You are precious to God, each one of you.
He has made us his sons and daughters! That should bring us great joy! We can call him our Father, he can know that he loves us as his children.
When Jesus is with us, we have perfect joy.
In our Gospel today, we hear the joyful mystery of the Visitation. And all the notes in this story are notes of joy: Mary brings the infant Jesus in her womb to visit St. Elizabeth and the child in Elizabeth’s womb, St. John the Baptist, leaps for joy.
And of course, in her Magnificat, Mary rejoices in the greatness of the Lord, who has done such great things for her! “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,” Our Lady prays, “my spirit rejoices in God my savior. … The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”
And my brothers and sisters, this is how we are called to live — with joy, with gratitude!
The Lord has done great things for us, as well. Each one of us. He has made us his sons and daughters! He has shown us the way to live — a way of love, a way of truth that will lead us to heaven.
So, we should rejoice and be glad, every day! And we should try to share our joy, to share the love of Jesus, with everyone we meet. Just as Mary did, just as she asked St. Juan Diego to do.
Always, when I am here in the presence of this sacred tilma, I reflect on Our Lady’s beautiful words to Juan Diego. And she speaks those words to each one of us today:
“Am I not your mother? Are you not under my shadow and my gaze? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not sheltered under my mantle, under the embrace of my arms?”
Let us ask her to always be a mother to us, and to help us to keep walking with her Son, following his way for our life, and living with joy and gratitudes.
Let us make our prayer today in the presence of this beautiful “portrait” of Our Lady.
In a special way, we come today with the petitions and prayer requests of many people from Los Angeles. We lay them at the foot of the virgin and we ask for her intercession for all our needs.
Let us remember, as we look into her eyes, that she loves us and that God loves us! And that their love is all we need.