Homilies

Memorial of Saint Cajetan, Priest – Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church – Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Homily list

Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church – Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

La Crosse, Wisconsin

31 July 2019

Ezek 43, 1-2. 3c-7a, Ps 84, 3. 4. 5. 10. 11, 
Heb 12, 18-19. 22-24, Lk 19, 1-10

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and for ever.  Amen.

When the Virgin Mother of God appeared to Saint Juan Diego from December 9th to 12th of 1531, she, first of all, made clear the truth of her identity and of the identity of her Divine Son, the only Savior of the world.[1] She made clear that her appearances were not about her but about her Divine Son and her maternal mission to bring all men to Him Who alone is our salvation.[2]

How does Our Lady propose that we come to know, love and serve Christ, her Divine Son? Having announced the truth about herself and her relationship with God, and the truth about Christ, the Savior of the World, she asks that a chapel be built in which she will draw the faithful to encounter Him. She does not propose that Saint Juan Diego start a movement or undertake some other initiative for the carrying out of her mission but rather that he ask Bishop Juan de Zumárraga to build a chapel:

I want very much that they build my sacred little house here, in which I will show Him, I will exalt Him upon making Him manifest, I will give Him to all people in all my personal love, Him that is my compassionate gaze, Him that is my help, Him that is my salvation.[3]

A church or chapel is the place of our most intimate encounter with Christ through the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. Christ communicates the truth, the Church’s constant and unchanging doctrine, to us in His holy Church by means of the unbroken Apostolic Tradition. That communication reaches its fullness in our communion of love with Him through prayer and above all through the Sacred Liturgy, His most precious gift to us.

¿En qué contexto se propone la Virgen de Guadalupe enseñarnos el misterio del amor siempre fiel y misericordioso de Dios? Es en el contexto de nuestra entrada a la Casa de Dios para rezar y ofrecer a Dios el culto que Él mismo nos inspira y nos fortalece para llevar a cabo. En la Sagrada Liturgia, Cristo mismo actúa en medio de nosotros para la gloria de Dios y para nuestra salvación eterna. De hecho, solo en la Casa de Dios se satisface nuestra mayor hambre y sed. En su morada entre nosotros conocemos a Dios en el perdón de nuestros pecados a través del sacramento de la Penitencia y en el regalo incomparable del Cuerpo, la Sangre, el Alma y la Divinidad de Cristo, el fruto del Sacrificio Eucarístico que se nos da como Pan celestial en la sagrada Comunión. Encontramos a Nuestro Señor de manera sacramental como Zaqueo lo encontró de manera física. Nuestro Señor nos dice lo mismo que le dijo a Zaqueo:

—Hoy ha llegado la salvación a esta casa, pues también éste es hijo de Abrahán; porque el Hijo del Hombre ha venido a buscar y salvar lo que estaba perdido[4].

En la Casa de Dios, a través de la celebración de la Sagrada Liturgia, experimentamos el cumplimiento de la profecía de Ezequiel:

—Hijo de hombre: éste es el lugar de mi trono, el lugar de las plantas de mis pies, donde Yo habito en medio de los hijos de Israel para siempre[5].

Como nos enseña bajo inspiración divina el autor de la Carta a los hebreos, en la casa de Dios, a través de la liturgia sagrada, la tierra se encuentra con el cielo:

En cambio, vosotros os habéis acercado al Monte Sión, a la ciudad del Dios vivo, la Jerusalén celestial, y a miríadas de ángeles, a la asamblea gozosa y a la Iglesia de los primogénitos inscritos en los cielos, al Dios Juez de todos, a los espíritus de los justos que han alcanzado la perfección, a Jesús mediador de la nueva alianza[6].

Además, en el lugar sagrado en el que tienen lugar los encuentros sacramentales con Nuestro Señor, nos sentimos inspirados a hablar con Él realmente presente en el Santísimo sacramento del altar reservado en el tabernáculo. Rezamos bajo la mirada amorosa de la Virgen Madre de Dios, de su purísimo esposo san José y de todos los santos, uniendo nuestros corazones a los de ellos, para ponerlos en el glorioso Corazón traspasado de Jesús.

We understand, therefore, that the ultimate goal of every pilgrimage, that the heart of every shrine or holy place, as is the case also with this sacred place, is the chapel or church to which the Mother of God leads us and in which Christ her Divine Son receives us.  He receives us to forgive our sins and to unite us in heart with His Most Sacred Heart through the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Our Lady of Guadalupe makes clear that we experience the mercy of God, incarnate in her Divine Son, in a pre-eminent way in the House of God, through prayer and divine worship. From the very beginning, she declares to Saint Juan Diego:

Because truly I am honored to be your compassionate mother, yours and that of all the people who live together in this land, and also of all the other various lineages of men; those who love me, those who cry out to me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Because there [at my sacred house] truly will I hear their cry, their sadness, in order to remedy, to cure all their various troubles, their miseries, their pains.[7]

When Our Lady provided to Saint Juan Diego the sign which the Bishop had requested, she insisted on the importance of the chapel as the locus of the manifestation of God’s all-merciful love.

Having arranged the most beautiful flowers, miraculously blooming in winter on a stony and thorny hillside, in Saint Juan Diego’s tilma, she instructed him:

My youngest son, these different kinds of flowers are the proof, the sign that you will take to the Bishop; you will tell him from me that in them he is to see my wish and that therefore he is to carry out my will; and you, you are my messenger, in you I place my absolute trust. And I strictly order you that only alone, in the Bishop’s presence, you will open your tilma and show him what you are carrying; and you will tell him everything exactly, you will tell him that I ordered you to climb to the top of the little hill to cut the flowers, and everything you saw and admired; so that you can convince the Governing Priest, so that he will then do what is entrusted to him, to build my little sacred house that I have asked for.[8]

In the end, everything regarding the apparitions is directed to the establishment of the chapel as a place of pilgrimage, of a privileged encounter with the Lord through the mediation of His Virgin Mother.

Escuchemos el relato de la presentación del signo al obispo:

Y luego extendió su blanca tilma, en cuyo hueco estaban las flores. Y al caer al suelo todas las variadas flores como las de Castilla, luego allí en su tilma se convirtió en señal, se apareció de repente la Amada Imagen de la Perfecta Virgen Santa María, Madre de Dios, en la forma y figura en que ahora está, en donde ahora es conservada en su amada casita, en su sagrada casita en el Tepeyac, que se llama Guadalupe…

Y el Obispo se levantó, desató de donde estaba atada, la vestidura, la tilma de Juan Diego, en la que se apareció, en donde se convirtió en venerable señal la Reina Celestial. Y luego la llevó allá, la fue a colocar en su oratorio… Y al día siguiente, le dijo: «Anda, vamos a que muestres dónde es la venerable voluntad de la Reina del Cielo que le levante su templo». De inmediato se dio orden de hacerlo, levantarlo[9].

Tan pronto como se completó la construcción de la capilla, el obispo transfirió la tilma sagrada desde su capilla privada hacia su nueva y adecuada capilla[10]. Luego, la tilma sagrada fue entronizada, según nos cuenta el relato de las apariciones:

Y absolutamente todos, toda la ciudad, sin faltar nadie, se estremecieron cuando fueron a contemplar, a admirar su preciosa Imagen. Venían a conocerla como algo divino. Venían a presentarle sus plegarias. Mucho se admiraban en qué milagrosa manera se había aparecido puesto que absolutamente ningún hombre de la tierra pintó su Imagen[11].

De hecho, desde el momento de las apariciones de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y de la entronización de su imagen milagrosa en las sucesivas capillas e iglesias construidas cerca del cerro Tepeyac, la devoción a Nuestra Señora ha fomentado una vida de oración y culto divino profunda y rica. La tilma sagrada sigue siendo el signo del gran milagro de la morada de Dios con nosotros en la tierra a través de la maternidad divina de la Virgen María.

In building the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe here, there was, from the beginning, a careful attention to have everything about the Shrine direct itself to the Shrine Church, indeed to the heart of the Shrine. At the same time, in the planning and construction of the Church, every effort was made to reflect the ineffable beauty of God and of His faithful and enduring love of us, most especially in the Redemptive Incarnation of His only-begotten Son.

Regarding the Sacred Liturgy, there has been, from the day of the Solemn Dedication of the Church, the effort to implement fully the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum. The Shrine has also striven to restore the ancient and beautiful practices of reception of Holy Communion while kneeling and on the tongue, and the offering of the Holy Mass, facing the Lord or versus Dominum.

    Our Lady’s Knights of the Altar has been a key part of the work of the Shrine, so that the Sacred Liturgy might be celebrated with proper care and dignity. The boys and young men who devote themselves to serve at the altar are formed as soldiers of Christ at His service, under the care and direction of the Virgin Mary, His Mother. Today, we have the great joy of witnessing the induction of two pages into knighthood. Let us pray for Joseph Hegland and Jonathan Sueppel, that they may never tire of serving Christ at the Altar of His Sacrifice, and that, in every aspect of their lives, they may reflect the holiness of their service.

    We will also have the induction of new members in the Saint Juan Diego Guild. Let us pray for them, that they may imitate Saint Juan Diego as faithful and generous messengers of Our Lady of Guadalupe. May they frequently come on pilgrimage to this holy place.

    Profundamente agradecido a Dios por el regalo de este lugar sagrado y de su presencia aquí entre nosotros, pidamos que Él nos permita, unidos al Inmaculado Corazón de María, elevar nuestros corazones al glorioso Corazón traspasado de Jesús. Recemos para que reconozcamos aquí a Aquél que es la «mirada compasiva» de la Virgen de Guadalupe, a Quien es nuestro «auxilio» y nuestra «salvación»[12].

Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization, pray for us!

Saint Juan Diego, pray for us!

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE

[1] Cf. “Appendix A: The Nican Mopohua,” in Carl A. Anderson and Eduardo Chávez, Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love (New York: Doubleday, 2009), p. 173, no. 26. [Nican Mopohua Eng]. Spanish version: “Apéndice A: El Nican Mopohua,” en Carl Anderson y Eduardo Chávez, ed. y tr. Gerardo Hernández Clark, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Madre de la civilización del amor (México, D.F.: Random House Mondadori, S.A. de C.V., 2010), p. 214, n. 26. [Nican Mopohua Esp].

[2] Cf. Nican Mopohua Eng, p. 173, nos. 26-28, and Nican Mopohua Esp, p. 214, nn. 26-28.

[3] Nican Mopohua Eng, p. 173, nos. 26-28. Spanish versión: “Mucho quiero, mucho deseo, que aquí me levanten mi casita sagrada, en donde lo mostraré, lo ensalzaré al ponerlo de manifiesto, lo entregaré a las gentes en todo mi amor personal, a Él que es mi mirada compasiva, a Él que es mi auxilio, a Él que es mi salvación.” Nican Mopohua Esp, p. 214, nn. 26-28.

[4] Lc. 19, 9-10.

[5] Ez. 43, 7.

[6] Heb. 12, 22-24.

[7] Nican Mopohua Eng, p. 174, nos. 29-32. Spanish versión: “Porque, en verdad, yo me honro en ser tu madre compasiva, tuya y de todos los hombres que vivís juntos en esta tierra, y también de todas las demás variadas estirpes de hombres, los que me amen; los que me llamen, los que me busquen, los que confíen en mí. Porque ahí, en verdad, escucharé su llanto, su tristeza, para remediar, para curar todas sus diferentes penas, sus miserias, sus dolores.” Nican Mopohua Esp, p. 214, nn. 29-32.

[8] Nican Mopohua Eng, p. 180, nos. 137-142. Spanish versión: “Hijo mío, el más pequeño, estas diversas flores son la prueba, la señal que llevarás al Obispo; de mi parte le dirás que vea en ellas mi deseo y que por ello realice mi querer, mi voluntad; y tú, tú que eres mi mensajero, en ti absolutamente se deposita la confianza. Y mucho te ordeno con rigor que únicamente a solas, en la presencia del Obispo, extiendas tu tilma y le muestres lo que llevas; y le contarás todo puntualmente, le dirás que te mandé que subieras a la cumbre del cerrito a cortar las flores, y cada cosa que viste y admiraste; así tú convencerás en su corazón al que es el Gobernante Sacerdote, así él dispondrá que se haga, se levante, mi casa sagrada que le he pedido.” Nican Mopohua Esp, p. 221, nn. 137-142.

[9] Nican Mopohua Esp, pp. 223-224, nn. 181-184, 188-190 y 192-193. Versión inglesa: “And then he opened his white tilma, in the hollow of which were the flowers. And all the different flowers, like those from Castille, fell to the floor. Then and there his tilma became the sign, there suddenly appeared the Beloved Image of the Perfect Virgin Saint Mary, Mother of God, in the form and figure in which it is now, where it is preserved in her beloved little house, in her sacred little house in Tepeyac, which is called Guadalupe…

And the Bishop got up, and untied Juan Diego’s garment, his tilma, from his neck where it was tied, on which appeared the venerable sign of the Heavenly Queen… And on the next day he [the Bishop] said to him: “Come, let’s go so you can show me where it is that the venerable will of the Queen of Heaven wants Her chapel built.” Immediately the order was given to make it, to build it.” Nican Mopohua Eng, p. 182, nos. 181-184, 188-190, and 192-193.

[10] Cf. Nican Mopohua Esp, p. 225, nn. 211-212, y Nican Mopohua Eng, p. 183, nos. 211-212.

[11] Nican Mopohua Esp, p. 225, nn. 214-218. Versión inglesa: “And absolutely everyone, the entire city, without exception, trembled when they went to behold, to admire Her precious Image. They came to acknowledge it as something divine. They came to offer Her their prayers. They marveled at the miraculous way it had appeared since absolutely no one on Earth had painted Her beloved Image.” Nican Mopohua Eng, p. 183, nos. 214-218.

[12] Nican Mopohua Esp, p. 214, n. 28. Versión inglesa: “… compassionate gaze… help… salvation.” Nican Mopohua Eng, p. 173, no. 28.