DECEMBER 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe whose image was miraculously imprinted on a simple cloak of a Mexican of Aztec descent, now saint, Juan Diego, back in 1591. The image has become so famous that it now is a national symbol of Mexico. It also reminds us of so many interesting things about Our Lady and us.
For one, it reminds us that Our Lady is always a mother who constantly cares for us, acting as our most reliable intercessor before God. She does not hesitate to make some extraordinary interventions in our life, as when she makes apparitions, if only to remit to us some important messages, if not warnings, over matters that may have gone quite serious.
In the readings of the feast’s liturgical celebration, we are reminded of the basic truth of our faith that tells us about the dignity that we have. And that is that we enjoy the highest connaturality with God, since God created us to be his image and likeness. (cfr. Gen 1,27)
Although that image has been damaged because of our sin, there is one person who managed to keep herself immaculate. And that is Our Lady. She can be considered as the perfect specimen of how a human person should be.
Thus, in the responsorial psalm, this passage from the Book of Judith is applied to her: “You are the highest honor of our race.” (15,9) It’s good that we be familiar with these words because even if it is incredible to apply them to us, the truth is that at the end of the day, we, too, like Mary share in that connaturality with God.
We should just try our best to imitate our Lady in living out that dignity as faithfully as possible. And the secret is simply to have the same faith, the same openness to God’s will, her obedience to the divine designs for man that undid the disobedience of our first parents and that of ours.
Her “Fiat” (Be it done unto me) is the best example of the obedience of faith that a human person as a creature can have in relation to the will of God. It perfectly echoes in a mysteriously anticipative way Christ’s obedience to the will of his Father—“If it is your will, let this cup pass by me, but not my will but yours be done.” (Mt 26,39)
Mary’s “Fiat” is the perfect model of how our will ought to be conformed to God’s will. We have to be reminded that by the very nature of our will, the very seat of our freedom, our will is supposed to be in synch with the will of its Creator. It just cannot be by itself, turning and moving purely on its own.
It is meant to be engaged with the will of God, its creator and lawgiver. It is the very power we have been given by God that enables us to unite ourselves with God in the most intimate way. All the other aspects of our life—physical, biological, chemical, etc.—are also governed by God-given laws but, by themselves, they cannot bring us into intimate union with God.
We cannot expropriate our will to be simply our own. We are meant only to be stewards of it, not its owner nor its designer, creator and lawgiver. It has to submit itself to the will of God, otherwise it would be working without proper foundation and purpose.