Every year we come to this celebration. We come to Tepeyac early in the morning to sing the praises of the Our Mother of Guadalupe. We come to see her. We come to bring her flowers. We come to hear those beautiful words, “Am I not here? Am I not your mother?” We come here to see her.
But tonight, let us look at him. Let us look to Juan Diego. We think that we know his story. Actually, we only know a little part of his story. He was on his way to worship. Juan Diego was walking along that familiar path near that familiar hill on his way to worship the Living God. And along that familiar path, on that familiar hill, he heard the voice of the beautiful Lady. She gave him a message: “Go and tell the Bishop, the Mother of God wants a chapel here.” She gave him a message and he delivered the message. She gave him another message and he delivered another message. She gave him the flowers that bloomed on that familiar hill and he delivered those precious flowers and the most precious image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his tilma. And then Juan Diego remained at Tepeyac. He remained where he met her so that for the rest of his life, Juan Diego could tell her story.
And what is this story of Juan Diego? What can we say of Juan Diego? What would he tell us if we could go to Tepeyac and sit with Juan Diego? If we could sit with him near that familiar road on that familiar hill, what would Juan Diego say to you and say to me?
Our Lady loves you. Our Lady loves me. And because she loved me, she asked me to carry her message. I wanted her to ask someone else to carry her message, not because I was unwilling, but because I was unworthy. How could I bring the message of the Queen of Heaven to a Bishop of the Church? I did not speak his language. I did not know his customs. I did not know all that he knows about the faith of Christ. But Our Lady was insistent, and I was obedient. I carried her message to the Bishop. I carried his message to her. I carried the flowers and I carried my tilma which now carries her image. Look at her. Isn’t she beautiful? Is she not here? Is she not our mother? And so, I stay here, near the hill where I met her, and I tell her story.
Juan Diego was loved by Our Lady. She loved him and he loved her. Juan Diego was humble. He did not think that he was worthy to carry the message of the Mother of God. But Juan Diego was obedient. He obeyed the words of his mother. Juan Diego was loved. Juan Diego was humble. Juan Diego was obedient. And Juan Diego carried her message. It was her message of love. It was her message of humility. It was her message of obedience to God the Father. And when Juan Diego revealed the message to the bishop, and when he told the story to everyone who walked on that familiar road and sat on that familiar hill, he became the preacher of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The love that he knew and the humility he showed before her and the obedience he showed to her made him more than a visitor to Tepeyac. He did not simply see her; he spoke of her. Juan Diego is the preacher of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
We have come here tonight because Our Lady loves us. Before her, we want to be humble. To her, we want to be obedient. We want to carry her message. We want to tell her story. We want to be, with Saint Juan Diego, preachers of the Good News from Guadalupe!