From flickr user Samuraijohnny

“And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” Luke 1:43-44.

The gospel for today features two mothers: Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. We give thanks for all mothers  and fathers  in today’s prayer for Christmas. It comes from Juan, age 18, of Bolivia whom our missioner Catherine Giller has known since he was 10 years old.

“This Christmas I give God gratitude for parents, not just mine but all parents who give guidance and help to their children, as they grow to lead them to positive things.  I give thanks for the earth and all the plants and animals, for the sunrises and sunsets, and for the rain that helps the crops to grow.” 

Mary wanted to mother us so much that she appeared to Juan Diego, a poor Aztec indian, on a hill Tepayac in central Mexico, speaking these words:

“My dear little son, I love you. I desire you to know who I am. I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and Maintains its existence. He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. I desire a church in this place where your people may experience my compassion. All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother’s Heart in this place. Here I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at peace…. My little son, there are many I could send. But you are the one I have chosen.”

On this feast day of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, Patroness of the Americas, we celebrate in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Latin America. We follow Mary’s example and make ourselves present in their lives so that we may together share in compassion, consolation and peace.

Help support our ministry of presence in Latin America by making a tax-deductible gift to FMS this Christmas.