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Devotion, protection to Our Lady of Guadalupe promoted at feast day Mass

January 06, 2015 | posted by Jordan McMorrough


Devotion, protection to Our Lady of Guadalupe promoted at feast day Mass

The Federation of Guadalupanos of the Archdiocese of San Antonio held its feast day celebration in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 7 at St. Mark the Evangelist Church, with Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, as presider of the liturgy and Msgr. Kevin Ryan, spiritual director of the organization and pastor of St. Mark’s, as concelebrant.

The Mass began with the procession of banner from the many parish Guadalupano groups in attendance.

In his homily, the archbishop asked the question, “What in the world are you waiting for? How often have we heard that phrase?”

He replied, “Many citizens ask the members of Congress when they are going to fix our broken immigration system. Guadalupanas might ask prospective new members who have not joined, ‘What in the world are you waiting for?’”

Archbishop Gustavo continued, “There is so much waiting in our lives. We may wait for the bishops and pastors to listen to us -- really listen to us without judging, without scolding, just listening to understand our situation.”

As Christians, the San Antonio prelate emphasized, we know what we are waiting for during this period of Advent. “We are waiting for the coming of the Lord -- actually, a threefold coming: in the past at Bethlehem, in the future at his Second Coming, and in the present at Christmas this year.” He again asked the question, “But why is it still so difficult for us to wait? Is it worth it?

The archbishop gave examples of how, in a moment, a machine can stamp out plastic poinsettias fully bloomed, but live plants take time and care, as they bloom and grow and change and die. “Pregnancy takes nine months, whether the life unfolding in the womb is rich or poor, a potential millionaire or a welfare baby -- or the Son of God!” he stressed.

In the day’s Scripture readings, from Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11, the prophet proclaims the coming of the Lord to his people in Exile. In Babylon they experienced disillusionment, confusion, anxiety, and a profound test of faith. The prophet announces the comforting good news of God’s great tenderness, compassion, and mercy.

“What do we need to do to prepare for the Lord’s coming?” Archbishop Gustavo queried attendees.

In the second reading, St. Peter 3:8-14, the first pope tells us that God shows us “generous patience.”

“What in the world is God waiting for? Might he not be tempted to give up on the world, as at the time of Noah? Might he not be tempted to cry over our city -- over us – as Jesus did over Jerusalem?” the archbishop pondered. He answered, “St. Peter says that God is patient with us and gives us time to repent of our sins, to help us transform our lives and bring them into harmony with the gospel.”

He followed up with further questions, “He may well ask us today: “What in the world are you waiting for? As individuals and as a community of faith, why do we dare delay the daily conversion of our lives that the gospel demands?”

In the Gospel reading from Mark 1:1-8, John the Baptist came to prepare a way for the Lord. “John calls each of us to prepare for the coming of the Lord -- in our personal lives, in our homes, in our parishes, in our federation of Guadalupanas, in our nation,” the archbishop explained. “When the Lord comes, he will bring to fulfillment God’s kingdom of justice, truth, and peace. This is why we wait; this is why we hope. May he find a warm welcome among us.”

The Missionary of the Holy Spirit told listeners that all are sent out together as missionaries into the world -- called to be John the Baptist, who announces the good news that the kingdom of God is already among us -- wherever we find justice, harmony, compassion, mercy, reconciliation, peace, unity.

“We know that the kingdom of God is also not yet here fully because of the world in which we live that is marked by so much hatred, jealousy, violence, individualism, and materialism,” Archbishop Gustavo highlighted. “But we are to be people of hope and love and faith!”

Archbishop Gustavo discussed the special place occupied by Our Lady of Guadalupe, la Morenita. At a unique moment in the history of the American continent God intervened through the Virgin Mary to open up the possibilities for the eventual unity of all peoples.

“She promises to be with us, her people, telling us not to fear the darkness, the violence, the hatred that is so much a part of our world,” the archbishop concluded. “She is the protector and liberator of the poor, the downtrodden, the neglected, the detained and deported, and especially the children -- especially the children -- the unborn and the born!”

He closed by praying that, “May Our Lady of Guadalupe, la Morenita, teach us, by her image and her example, true Christian witness, authentic discipleship, the value of waiting for God’s work in us and among us.”

After Communion a coronation of a statue of the Virgen de Guadalupe was held, followed by the installation of new officers to the Guadalupanos Board of Directors for 2015-2017.

Installed were: Msgr. Ryan, spiritual director; Carmen Lopez, president, St. Mark the Evangelist Church; Elvira Cantú Arrieta, first vice president, Prince of Peace Church; Cali Avila, second vice president, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; Eva Garcia, secretary, St. Luke Church; and Lulu (Armandina) Garcia, treasurer; St. Mark the Evangelist Church.

A prayer of consecration was recited prior to the conclusion of the liturgy. The prayer stated, “Most Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen, Mother and Patroness of the Guadalupanos, wholeheartedly I offer You my heart, my family, and all my works. I renew my efforts to want to serve You and Your Most Holy Son every day of my mortal life. I desire to have everyone know and love you. I wish to work for the enrichment of Your temple and Your devotion. Grant that the spirit of discord and all that may be harmful to the Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe not be part of my life. As a sign of love, I beg you, Oh my tender Mother, that you bless my family, my friends, my enemies and myself. Help the members of this Society grow in number and faith. Give courage to my work. Give me the perseverance that after having served You in this world, I may enjoy eternal glory with You in Heaven. Amen.”