Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrated the second pilgrimage Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe today in the presence of 140 faithful of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (bilingual homily follows). The Basilica houses the original tilma (or cloak) of Juan Diego, which holds the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that appeared in 1531. Video footage and photos from the Mass are available at http://basilica.mxv.mx/web1/Peregrinaciones/2018/Arquidiocesis-Los-Angeles-2018/Index.html.
“As we come from Los Angeles to our pilgrimage, I’ve been reflecting, that we are coming to be with our Mother,” said Archbishop Gomez. “I was thinking of the testimony we heard a couple of weeks ago during the Mass for Immigrants. The testimony of a little boy, Adán from El Salvador. When he was seven years old, he decided to look for his mother who had left to the U.S. because of difficult family situations. As he was giving his testimony he said, ‘I want to be with my mother.’ He had tried three times. On the third time he was accepted into the United States and he was blessed to be reunited with his mother in Los Angeles. This is a challenging and beautiful story. He is somebody who is a beautiful example for us of how eager we are to be here today and our reason to be here. We really want to be with our mother. We didn’t have the problems that Adán had, but still it is the same feeling. We are so happy to be here.”
The Mass was concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark for Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region, Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell for San Gabriel Pastoral Region, Fr. Brian Nunes, priest-secretary to Archbishop Gomez, Fr. David Gallardo, pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and Fr. Paul Sustayta, pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Pasadena.
During the Mass, Archbishop Gomez presented hand-written prayer petitions from faithful across Southern California for the intercession of Our Lady Guadalupe.
“I’m on the Pilgrimage to Mexico and to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in honor of my mother, who passed away on March 20, 2018,” said George Guillen, one of the pilgrims. “Although my mother had a third-grade education, she was a very beautiful storyteller. As a small child, she would always tell me the story of the Virgin Mary and her apparition to Juan Diego. It was her favorite story, emphasizing in a poetic manner the miracle of the roses and how the image of the Virgin Mary became imprinted on his tilma.”
For nearly 500 years, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has been the symbol of hope, peace and love, uniting peoples around the world as one family of God. The Basilica at Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world.
The Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles is home to the only known relic of the tilma outside of Mexico City. The relic is a small piece that was detached from the tilma and given to Archbishop John Cantwell of Los Angeles by the Archbishop of Mexico City, Luis Maria Martinez in 1941.
The pilgrimage, ending on Monday, July 9, included a Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven celebrated on Friday, July 6, and a visit to Santa Maria Tulpetlac Parish, the church of the fifth apparition of the Virgin to St. Juan Diego.
‘We want to be with our mother’
(On July 7, 2018 Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrated Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe for 140 pilgrims from the Los Angeles Archdiocese and thousands more who were present to venerate the tilma (or cloak) of St. Juan Diego, which holds the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that appeared in 1531. He delivered his homily in Spanish and English.)
Queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Estamos muy contentos de estar aquí esta mañana para la celebración de la Santa Misa de nuestra peregrinación a la Basílica de Nuestra Madre Santísima de Guadalupe.
So, as we come from Los Angeles to our pilgrimage, I’ve been reflecting on this for a few days, that we are coming to be with our Mother.
I was thinking of that testimony we heard a couple of weeks ago during the Mass for Immigrants. The testimony of that little boy, Adán. His mother went to the United States when he was, I think, two years old.
And then when he was seven years old, he decided to look for his mother. As he was giving his testimony he said, “I want to be with my mother.”
So at seven years old, he decided to walk all the way to the United States from Central America. I think he’s originally from El Salvador. He went over there and was trying to get out, but somehow he couldn’t make it.
The second time, a year after that, he went all the way to the border between Mexico and the United States. And once he got here, he was deported. So he was sent back to El Salvador.
He tried again for the third time. That time he was accepted into the United States and he was blessed to be reunited with his mother in Los Angeles.
This is a challenging and beautiful story. He is somebody who is a beautiful example for us of how eager we are to be here today and our reason to be here.
We really want to be with our mother.
We didn’t have the problems that Adán had, but still it is the same feeling. We are so happy to be here.
Es un día muy bonito para nosotros porque tenemos el deseo de estar con nuestra Madre Santísima de Guadalupe, una historia muy bonita de un joven, un niño que se separó de su mamá cuando tenía 2 años, de El Salvador. Su mamá se fue a vivir a Los Ángeles por situaciones familiares muy difíciles y el niño a los 7 años decidió buscar a su mamá. Trato de irse con un grupo que salía de El Salvador hacia Estados Unidos y saliendo de la ciudad el que los iba a llevar los abandono. Intento otra vez a los pocos años, llego hasta la frontera de México con los Estados Unidos, y ahí lo deportaron y tuvo que regresar a El Salvador. Y todavía una tercera vez intento, llego, lo recibieron y ahora esta con su mamá en Los Ángeles. Tuvimos una misa para los inmigrantes y el dio un testimonio muy bonito, es el mismo deseo que tenemos hoy al estar aquí con Nuestra Madre Santísima de Guadalupe. A nosotros no nos ha constado tanto trabajo, pero si tenemos el mismo cariño y el mismo deseo estar con nuestra Madre Santísima este día que venimos todos a visitar y a estar presentes aquí en la casa de Nuestra Madre Santísima de Guadalupe. Es interesante también porque estamos aquí para reafirmar nuestra fe. Es un momento en el que todos de verdad queremos decirle a Dios nuestro señor que creemos.
That’s why we are here. We are here because we want to be with our Mother, but also because we want to reaffirm that we have a strong faith. Not just something that we use when there is a challenging situation in our lives.
Today we come to worship, to give thanks, and to ask our Blessed Mother to continue to be a mother of us in our spiritual journey.
Es un momento en el que también venimos a pedir por todas nuestras necesidades personales, por nuestras familias, y por nuestro país. Y también por la iglesia, para que todos en la iglesia estamos llenos de fe y vivamos nuestra fe.
So today we especially come to ask our Blessed Mother for our personal needs, for our families, for our Church, and for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and for all the needs that our country has.
I think it is okay, especially to ask our Blessed Mother for whatever we need. That’s the way we are.
Normalmente cuando necesitamos algo lo primero que hacemos es pedírselo a nuestras mamás.
We also pray especially for the immigrants. It is a challenging situation that some of them are living in throughout the world, but also as they come to the United States.
So, vamos a pedir especialmente por los inmigrantes para que siempre sientan que Dios esta con ellos y que somos nosotros quienes los recibimos con los brazos abiertos.
And the readings of today’s Mass help us to see, once again, the meaning of our faith. The passage of the Gospel today shows us the life of Mary our Blessed Mother and how Jesus is there.
And that’s a beautiful message for all of us. The Gospel reminds us, in the example of Mary our Blessed Mother, that Jesus is an essential part of our lives, as he was in the life of Mary our Blessed Mother.
And she shared that, first with St. Elizabeth, her cousin. We had the beautiful story of the visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth in the Gospel today. That should be also what is in our hearts: an extraordinary desire to share our faith with our brothers and sisters.
Lo que vemos en el evangelio de hoy, es como la Santísima Virgen va y visita a su prima Santa Isabel, nos recuerda que Jesús está siempre presente en nuestras vidas y que nuestra misión es compartir a Jesús con los demás. Maria Santísima compartió a Jesús con su prima Santa Isabel y con San Juan Bautista quien estaba todavía en su seno, y así nosotros también tenemos que tener ese deseo de compartir a Jesús con los demás.
And as we come here, we also remember the beautiful story of the apparition of Mary our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, to St. Juan Diego.
Once again, let’s think about it. St. Juan Diego is walking in the morning. He is doing his own business. And then on his way, in the middle of his path, he meets Our Blessed Mother.
And she tells him to build a shrine to worship to Jesus. Juan Diego, like St. Elizabeth, was able to recognize Jesus Christ, because his heart was open to receive God. He was ready to find God working in his life. He was open to God.
Please pray for that grace too — always to be open to the grace of God and to the presence of Jesus in our lives.
Every day, in every moment, we need to open to God. We need to be looking for him and listening to his voice. We need to always be ready to help God and to receive his gifts.
En la historia tan bonita de la aparición de Nuestra Madre santísima a San Juan Diego, vemos como San Juan Diego estaba abierto a lo que Dios le pedía a través de la Santísima Virgen Maria. Ojalá que cada uno de nosotros también el día de hoy, una vez más, abramos nuestro corazón, nuestra alma, nuestras vidas a lo que Dios nuestro señor quiere de cada uno de nosotros, porque somos hijos e hijas de Dios, como San Pablo nos recuerda en la segunda lectura de la misa de hoy.
We are children of God. Sons and daughters of God, as St. Paul reminds us in the second reading of today’s Mass.
And Mary our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe was asking St. Juan Diego to build a shrine where people are able to find Jesus
God is calling us once again today to build a shrine with our lives. God is calling us to bear witness to his salvation, to the difference that Jesus Christ makes in our lives. He’s calling us to show his love and compassion to our brothers and sisters.
Que le pedía la Santísima Virgen a Juan Diego, que construyera un templo donde todos pudieran encontrar a Jesús. Es lo mismo que hoy se nos pide a cada uno de nosotros, la Virgen nos pide que nuestras vidas sean ese templo en donde los demás puedan a encontrar a Jesús. Es un reto muy bonito.
It is a beautiful challenge that people can find Jesus in each one of us. In the way that we do things, the way we talk, the way we listen and the way we act. We should be messengers of the presence of God in our lives and the lives of the people around us.
So, let’s never forget what Mary our Blessed Mother said to St. Juan Diego. She said to him, “Understand that I have many servants and messengers that I could send to deliver my message and do my will. But it is,” she said to him, “absolutely necessary that you, yourself, go.”
That’s what Mary Our Blessed Mother is telling each of us.
La Santísima Virgen le dijo a San Juan Diego, “tengo muchos a los que puedo mandar a ver al obispo, pero quiero que tu vayas.” Lo mismo Maria Santísima de Guadalupe nos estada diciendo a cada uno de nosotros hoy. Quiero que tú seas mi mensajero, que los demás vean a Jesús en tu vida, en lo que tú haces y como vives.
It is a beautiful message and I hope that we all renew our commitment to be like St. Juan Diego, messengers of the presence of our Blessed Mother and the presence of God in our lives and in the lives of everybody that we meet.
So let’s keep looking for the signs of God’s love everywhere in our lives. And let us promise to do everything that we can to keep Jesus Christ into our families and into our world. And let’s build a shrine with our lives.
Que le pidamos a Nuestra Madre Santísima de Guadalupe que hoy una vez más renovemos nuestro deseo de ser como San Juan Diego, mensajeros de la palabra del amor de Dios en nuestro mundo.
Let’s ask Mary Our Blessed Mother for her intercession that we all be like St. Juan Diego, messengers of the love, the truth, and the care, and the presence of God in our lives and the lives of the people around us.