Gospel: Mt 11:16-19
Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain: ‘We played the flute for you, but you would not dance. We sang a funeral song, but you would not cry!’
For John came fasting, and people said, ‘He is possessed by a demon!’ Then, the Son of Man came. He ate and drank; and people said, ‘Look at this man: a glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet, wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
Juan Diego was a simple Mexican Indian. He was born in 1474 at 20 kilometers north of Mexico City. He walked every day those 20 kilometers to Mexico City just to attend Mass. He lived a very simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer.
On this day of December 9 in 1531, when Juan Diego was already 57 years old, the Virgin Mary appeared to him as he was passing by Tepeyac Hill. She was dressed like an Aztec princess. She asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site. She said she wanted this “so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help and defense, for I am your most devoted mother…” The bishop was skeptical and asked Juan to bring proof of the Lady’s identity. Juan returned to Tepeyac Hill and there found a patch of Castilian roses (which were not grown in Mexico) growing in the frozen soil. He brought these to the bishop. Eventually a great basilica was built on the hill, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Juan died in 1548 and was canonized in 2002.
How far would I be ready to walk to attend daily Mass if I could?