I’ll admit, I came a little late to the Guadalupe bandwagon. Between being raised in a fairly traditional Irish Catholic environment and not having a strong personal devotion to Mary, I never paid much attention to this particular devotion or the feast we celebrate today.
But the more I learn, the more I realize this is a devotion I can really get behind.
That’s why I can say that the Virgin of Guadalupe tells me that the Church can change. Rather than being one of the European porcelain Madonnas, she looks like the people to whom she appeared. She brings together the occupied and the occupiers in her very flesh, manifesting the union of European and Native cultures that has both enhanced and tortured the Americas since the “New World” was “discovered”.
Even though she appeared nearly 500 years ago, she speaks to me of newness, that the church is not a relic but a living, changing entity, and she gives me comfort that no matter where we wander, she and her Son are with us.