“The Blessed Virgin Mary Helps Us to Give a Dwelling Place to Her Son Jesus”

Homily on the Occasion of the Archdiocesan Cruzada Guadalupana
December 7, 2019; St Mary’s Cathedral
Readings: Zac 2, 14-17; Jdt 13; Lc 1:39-47


Welcome and congratulations to all of you who have completed this twenty-sixth Cruzada Guadalupana and this long and exhausting procession. You have endured the cold, the fatigue, and even the rain. We thank the Lord for the rain! The rain is a sign that heaven is crying. But these are tears of joy! Heaven is raining tears of joy for your manifestation of such great love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Making a Home for Jesus
Actually, this season is full of processions. Another series of processions are the Novena of Posadas, which will begin in a few days, to help us prepare for Christmas, when God comes to meet us. The songs of the Posada are very dear to all of us. At the end, in the final song, these words that are very well-known to everyone are sung: “Enter holy pilgrims, receive this corner; although the dwelling is poor, I give it to you from my heart.” And this is how God is: He comes looking for us, He looks for us to receive Him, He asks us for a dwelling place – a dwelling place in our hearts.

In the first reading for today’s Mass, we hear through the prophet Zechariah the words of the Lord addressed to His people: “I am coming to dwell among you,” and also, “the Lord … stirs forth from his holy dwelling!” The Lord comes down from heaven – His “holy dwelling” – to be with us. Why? Because when you love someone, you want to be with that person. Love means presence. The most important thing is simply to be in the presence of the beloved. That is why the Lord wants to be present with us, He comes to us to dwell in us. But when He arrives, do we receive Him? Does the Lord truly find a dwelling in our hearts?

Open Heart
“Although the dwelling is poor, I give it to you from my heart.” Is this true for us? Do we give at least a small corner of our heart for Him to dwell in? If one tries but sometimes falls, there is no need to fear – we have the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us.

Observe how the Virgin Mary reacts after hearing the announcement of the Archangel Gabriel that she is going to be the Mother of God’s Son. Saint Luke tells us in the Gospel that we have just heard: “Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.”

Our Blessed Mother rushes to be with her cousin Elizabeth, to keep her company. Why? Because love means presence. These women, cousins, were at the center of the deepest mysteries of our salvation. With so much love for the Lord and her cousin Elizabeth, the Virgin Mary could not do other than hurry to be with her cousin.

God with us
And so is the Blessed Mother with us, and that is why she appeared that fated day in Tepeyac. She wants to be with us; she continues to bring her divine Son to the world, to the whole world. Yes, she rushes to be with us, to walk with us, accompanying us on our way to the Kingdom of her Son, even with all the sufferings and difficulties that this entails for us – sometimes harder than cold or rain!

The Blessed Virgin takes her Son to the whole world to continue her role in God’s plan for our salvation, the role that she began in her earthly life. This is the fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet Zechariah: “Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they shall be his people.” As she did for us on earth, she continues to do from heaven: giving birth to her Son, so that everyone may walk in his light, free from the evil influences of darkness.

As the Virgin Mary hurried to find her cousin Elizabeth, so she hurries to find us. She wants to be with us because she loves us, and she wants to take us to Him who loves us with the love that rescues us from the darkness of sin and death, of sadness and fear; she does so, so that her Son may always remain present in our hearts. The very name of her Son is “presence”: “Emmanuel,” which literally means “God with us.” Jesus is with us, and with our Blessed Mother accompanying us, there is nothing to fear!

As she did in Tepeyac five hundred years ago, she still does today: the Virgin May always wants to present her Son Jesus to the whole world. Let us trust in her, so that she may help us to receive her Son Jesus in a little corner of our heart, and so continue to make progress in our journey of faith, enduring the difficulties – but always with joy – as we make our way towards our final destination: the eternal joy of God’s Kingdom.