On Dec. 12, Share the Journey with Our Lady of Guadalupe

Do unto others
Bill Scholl is the archdiocesan consultant for social justice. You can email him at: socialjustice@ archkck.org.

by Bill Scholl

Mary, the virgin destined to become the Mother of God, was a Galilean, a Jewish woman of Nazareth who, through saying “yes” to God, made our salvation possible.

As such, the Virgin Mary is revered in every form as an icon of the church — being everything that we, as followers of her son Jesus, are called to be. As we approach the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, how fitting that we meditate on how Mary migrated.

Mary appeared to Juan Diego as a beautiful brown-skinned Queen of Heaven, pregnant with the Christ.

She asked for a church to be built and so ushered in a great conversion that would see 11 million people baptized over the decade.

Our Lady of Guadalupe models how we as Catholics, 500 years after her visit, are called to reach out to those on the margins.

Pope Francis recently launched a special initiative called Share the Journey. The aim of this two-year campaign is to promote the culture of encounter in communities where migrants and refugees leave and return, the areas they travel through and where they choose to make their homes.

In response, the U.S. bishops have asked that Catholics in the Americas make the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe a time to be in solidarity with migrants and refugees in our communities.

In our archdiocese, every Catholic is invited to mark Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as a day to reach out to migrants and refugees in prayer and, if possible, to migrate to a special Mass.

We are blessed to have a number of parishes that have a tradition of special devotions on that day. Please make plans to bring your family to worship that day at one of these parishes. For a complete list and more details, visit the website at: archkck.org/social justice.

Mary migrated for a time here to the Americas with a message. She said to Juan Diego and to us, “I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their complaints and heal all their sorrows, hardships and sufferings.”

As disciples of her son Jesus, we can do no less. While fear and politics can harden our hearts into indifference toward youth affected by the repeal of DACA or the plight of refugees affected by drastic reductions in the number our government allows, our faith and Our Lady remind us that we are called to Share the Journey.

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