It is very important for us to remember that God has a strong passionate desire to be with us, to be connected with us, to help us know that He is a kind father, caring for us, loving us no matter what is happening in our lives. But how does God let us know? If God Himself appeared, His brightness would overwhelm us. So God sends people like us to tell us about God, His attitude, His desire to be deeply united with us. He has a passionate desire to be with us. For example, in the first reading today, [To see the first reading today, click here.] the prophet, Isaiah, says God wants us to be free. God wants to give us joy; God wants to give us comfort. God knows our heart is broken; God wants to give us healing. God wants to help us know you and I are beautiful, wonderful. God is very happy with us; God is very proud of us.
Then in the second reading, [To see the words of the second reading, click here.] St Paul says be happy always, why? The Lord is coming, the Lord is near because the Lord wants to be with us, to love us. So, live good lives, do good; then you will be happy, satisfied, have peace with yourself, have peace with other people. This is what God wants for us.
In the gospel today we see the story of John the Baptist. [To see the words of the gospel, click here.] John the Baptist tells us that in our lives there is much unhappiness, much sadness, much pain, much darkness. But a light is coming! The light is a person, the Messiah, the Christ; He is coming. We know the light is Jesus Himself. If we want the perfect idea of who God is, God sent us His perfect image, His perfect picture to give us a full idea about God’s heart, about God’s mind, about God’s attitude for us; we see everything about God the Father in Jesus. If you and I want to know about God, we look at Jesus Christ. Always we see Jesus and we see the strong deep passion that the Lord has to be close to us, to be with us, to care for us always.
Jesus lived 2000 years ago and we know the story about Jesus. We know Jesus is still alive, but sometimes God picks other people, tells them to go and tell us about God. One example is the story we celebrated December 12. It is the story of Mary, when Mary visited the people of Mexico. What is the story? God knew that there were Indian people in America, North and South America. So God picked people from Spain to come and tell the Indian people that God has a special love for them. But those Spaniards were tough, not nice people. Their soldiers killed many Indians, caused sickness to spread so that many Indians died; many became slaves. The Spaniards were not good. But God’s love needed to spread; so what did God do? God picked another person to come and tell the people that God was still a kind, loving Father for all people. Who did God pick? Mary, the mother of Jesus. God in heaven asked the mother of Jesus to go and tell the Indians that God is their Father and cares for them. It is the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Let me summarize the story briefly.
It was a cold time in December; an Indian man, named Juan Diego, was walking along and looked up on the mountain and saw a beautiful woman, glorious. She had beautiful clothes; the same beautiful clothes that the Indian women wear. Her skin was brown like other beautiful Indian women. She told Juan Diego to go and tell the bishop to build a special church on the hill. Juan Diego said to the Lady, “It is not a good idea; I am an Indian. The bishop will not accept my words. All Spaniards think Indians are stupid.” Mary said, “I want you to go.” Juan Diego obeyed the beautiful Lady and went to the bishop. The bishop said he needed proof. The next day he came back to the Lady and told her that the bishop wanted proof. The Lady told Juan Diego to come back the next day. The next day the Lady sent Juan Diego to the place where she wanted the church to be and there he found a garden full of beautiful flowers, big red roses. He collected all the roses in his cloak and brought them to show to the bishop as the proof about the beautiful Lady from heaven who wanted a church. He went to the bishop to show him the proof. He opened his cloak and the roses fell out. They were not the roses that grew in Mexico; they were the roses that only grew in Europe, in Spain Then he saw all the priests and the bishop kneel down. He looked at his cloak and saw the beautiful picture of Mary painted on his cloak. That was the proof the bishop needed. He built the church and very quickly knowledge of God, knowledge of Christ, knowledge of Mary spread throughout the Indian country.
God picks people to go and tell others about God’s love, God’s kindness, God’s caring, to let us know that God’s heart is full of love for all people.
You know something else? Maybe God is picking you to go to other people and tell them that God is kind, warm, merciful, forgiving, why? God wants good witnesses to explain who God is, to explain His heart. Maybe God is picking you.