Juan Diego was but a simple man. He was Our Lady of Guadalupe’s kind. To him, she entrusted the delivery of a message instructing his bishop to build a sacred site that would serve as a place of refuge and peace—a place where her Son would give the people his help, compassion, and protection. When the bishop turned him away, Juan Diego begged Mary to choose someone of status or nobility to do the very important work of God. “I am a nobody,” he said, “a nothing, like a pile of sticks.” But the Blessed Mother picked him up from his knees and commissioned him to go.
Our Lady of Guadalupe does the same for us. She reminds us of our vocation to be disciples of God’s work on earth. She promises, like a faithful mother, to be with us in that work: Listen, put it into your heart [my child] that the thing that frightens you, the thing that afflicts you, is nothing: do not let it disturb you. . .. Am I not here, I who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Our Blessed Mother lifts us up so that in our social justice ministries we can offer Jesus’ compassion, protection, refuge, and justice to all her children in the world. The message of Guadalupe, our mother, is for us to continue building a world in which all God’s children will be well fed and safely sheltered, will have access to good health care, housing, and schools—and will be treated with the same dignity and respect as the Son of God she bore.
¡Que viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!