Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!
December 14, 2020
St. John of the Cross
Dear Family of Mary!
We find ourselves in the third week of Advent, already! It seems that time is moving so quickly these days. Our longing for Christmas, and the birth of our Savior grows within us. But we also are living through very difficult times and very much need Our Lady to take care of us. Like all good mothers, she can multitask. So, as she prepares for Christmas, she can also take care of us!!
I want to share with you the transcript of Fr. Leon Pereira’s homily for December 12, 2020, given in Medjugorje, because he teaches us something very important about Our Lady, and just why she can take such good care of us. Listen carefully and renew your trust in the Mother who has come to save us.
She told us on August 25, 1995 “… Little children, I am with you, and I love you and I bless you and I wish for every one of you to be in my embrace. You cannot be in my embrace if you are not ready to pray every day. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
As they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus why did the scribes say that Elijah must come first? He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come; and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So, also, will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
The Gospel of the Lord
There is a principal at work in the Bible which we call Typology, to do with types; in Greek “tupos.”
Now, I want you to think of a typewriter – those of you who are old enough to remember typewriters – when you hit the key, the – I don’t even know what it is called… no, no… — it hits… the letter hits the ink and the paper, and it leaves a printed letter. The printed letter is what we call the “type.”
So, if you hit the letter “T,” you get a “T” printed. And if you, you can hit “T” over and over again, you’ll get lots of “T’s.” Now, all those “T’s” are called “types.”
The metal part that hits the ink is known as the “anti-type.” It’s not the opposite of the “T,” it’s just the opposite side, the one that presses the ink.
Okay? So, you have the “type” which is the printed version; and the “anti-type” is the metal thing that hits the ink, the ink tape. So, the “anti-type” is the reality. And the “type” is a version.
Now, I’m using these words because these are the exactly the same words used in the Bible. We are told that Adam is a “type” of Christ. We are told that baptism is the “anti-type” of the flood of Noah. Okay? So, reality… Baptism is the reality; Noah’s flood is an image of that reality because they went through the water and were saved. So, it’s a “type,” it’s an image, a foreshadowing. And Adam is a “type” of Christ, that he also is a foreshadowing of Christ, and Christ is, therefore, the “anti-type,” the reality. Okay.
Now, this happens throughout the Bible over and over again. So, you can say the Ark of the Covenant is a “type” of Our Lady. Our Lady is the “anti-type,” the reality; she is the true Ark of the Covenant.
Now here in the passage that we just heard, we are told about Elijah; that Elijah must come first. And Jesus says something quite surprising. You know, he doesn’t just say, “Elijah has come; they did to him whatever they wanted,” meaning, John the Baptist.
John the Baptist is Elijah as you have been hearing for the last two or three days in the readings, that he comes in the Spirit of Elijah to prepare the nations. He is – there’s a technical term for this – he is the “anteambulo,” the “one who walks beforehand.” You know, if you’re walking… say, you’re a king, and you’re walking, you must not step on a stone or stumble; so, the anteambulo goes before you – literally, in Latin, “the one who walks before you” – and clears the way. And we’re told as exactly in Isaiah, “he goes before to lower the hills and the mountains, and to build up the valleys;” so there’s a flat road for the Messiah to walk on. So, he prepares the way for the Messiah.
But Jesus says something else, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things.” So, who is that Elijah? Because, he means, the one who is in the past: “Elijah has already come.” That’s John the Baptist. But there’s another one: “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things.” This refers to the future with respect to Jesus and his disciples. It refers to: Our Lady. Our Lady is Elijah, “the one who comes to prepare the way” for Christ’s second coming. She, and we’re told, she “will indeed come and restore all things.” What does she say here in Medjugorje? “I have come to tell you that God exists.” This is how she begins when she first came here.
Today, we keep the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is really the beginning of all modern apparitions of Our Lady. Because, from this time on, we not only have clearer records; but there’s also a pattern of things happening, of things being hinted at, of things being made clear. The Tilma that she left, the imprint of her image on the tilma – we find out more and more things about it as time goes on.
The stars on her cape correspond to the stars in the sky of that particular time, December 9th of 1531 (I think the year was). And also, now, today, Father Francesco sends me a thing saying that the stars correspond to musical notes and it plays a kind of heavenly haunting melody; it’s quite beautiful, actually. Because remember, on December 9th, Juan Diego says, “I heard this beautiful music; that’s what drew my attention,” he says, to the hill at Tepeyac.
And then, of course, she wears a black sash. She’s pregnant. She’s standing on the moon clothed with the sun and the stars – a crown of 12 stars, etc. Hinting at… more than hinting, saying she’s the Virgin of Revelation, of Chapter 12 of Revelation; and at the end of Chapter 11: “the Ark of the Covenant was seen… in Heaven.”
So, it’s saying all these things to us. But really, Guadalupe – the message of Guadalupe – comes down to her words to Juan Diego. She addressed him as “Juanito, Juan Dieguito;” you can’t really translate that into English, because it doesn’t sound right if you say, “Johnny” instead of John, or “Johnny-kins” for Juan Dieguito, or something. But it’s affectionate; very affectionate, very warm. And he called her “grandmother.”
Now this is not strange to me. Also, in the Indian language that I speak – Malayalam – when you want to honor someone no matter how old they are, you call them “mother” or “father” even if they’re younger than you. And if you want to really honor them, you call them “grandfather.” So, St. Thomas the Apostle who converted my ancestors, we call him, “grandfather.” Muttacchan. – “Acchan” means father – “Muttacchan,” eldest father, grandfather, first father. Okay?
So, calling someone “grandma” is not a disrespect at all. So, yeah. In case I call any of you, “grannies;” from now, yes, I mean it respectfully; it’s a term of respect. So, he calls this young girl… he says, “she’s a young girl,” and he calls her “grandmother.” So, this is the dialogue that they have.
And she says to him – this is worth hearing again and again; maybe even pinning it to your mirrors and read it every morning – she says, “For am I not here with you, your mother? Are you not safe in the shadow of my protection? Am I not the source of your life and your happiness? Am I not holding you in my lap wrapped in my arms? What else can you possibly need? Do not be upset or distressed.”
This is what Elijah, the new Elijah, comes to do for us. Here also in Medjugorje, I was helping Lydia Paris translate the messages again into English. And we noticed, like back in the 1990’s, one of the messages said something like, “I am embracing you…” or something. But in Croatian, it literally said, “You are in my lap.” Okay. And this is exactly the same language she uses here in Guadalupe, “Am I not holding you in my lap wrapped in my arms?”
This image of tenderness, intimacy, protection, motherly care, and a maternal love, a maternal instinct. “Elijah must indeed come to prepare the way” for Christ as He comes again in glory. And so, beginning with Guadalupe, we have Elijah with us. Our own heavenly mother reminding us, “Am I not here with you, your mother?”
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise God! I can tell you that this homily gave me a great deal of hope. Our Lady is with us, the type of Elijah, come to prepare us for the coming of the Messiah. She is with us to tenderly and powerfully, protect us and defend us as we await the coming of the Lord. I feel her care very much in these days.
Let’s say these words of Our Lady every day, as Fr. Leon suggests! Maybe tape them to the bathroom mirror, so that the first words we think of in the morning and the last at night, are Our Lady’s tender words of motherly care to us!
“For am I not here with you, your mother? Are you not safe in the shadow of my protection? Am I not the source of your life and your happiness? Am I not holding you in my lap wrapped in my arms? What else can you possibly need? Do not be upset or distressed.”
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary TV 2020
P.S. Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15, the parish will begin the Christmas Novena! Each day for nine days at 2:00 pm the parish will climb Apparition Hill, praying the Rosary, in preparation for Christmas! Mary TV will stream this Novena, live, beginning at 2:00 pm Medjugorje time! Join us!