“Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God!” (Isaiah 40:9)
We really only have one thing going for us. Guess what that might be?
Ever heard of Black Friday? It is the day after Thanksgiving when people get excited and deprive themselves of sleep to shop for things. Things. Stores open in the wee hours of the night and people get up in the wee hours of the night to buy, buy, buy. People stay up all night or get up at 1 am or 1 am or 3 am or 4 am or 5 am in order to catch the sales. I think the word “Black” Friday is so appropriate. If we cling solely to things we surely end in darkness. It is not the one thing we have going for us and the one thing we are looking for.
On this date in 1531 Mary, the mother of God, appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico. A painted image of our Blessed Virgin Mary, now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, miraculously appeared on the tilma (cape) that Juan Diego, his bishop and then the whole world discovered. This image shows Mary pregnant signifying she is going to bear Jesus to the world. The goodness of God defeating evil and darkness is shown by Mary standing on the top of Satan’s head. This image of Mary bearing the light and love and salvation of Jesus reminds us that he defeats the darkness of all “Black” Fridays and all that is black.
Contrary to any teaching on this topic, Catholics do not worship Mary. We honor her for who she is and the example she gave. The purpose of every ounce of her existence is to point to Jesus. And she did that perfectly. And we want to go there. For all eternity, her whole life shouts: “Here is Jesus.”
And why do we ask her for her prayers? Well, we ask others to pray for us? Why not ask the one who is most united to Jesus to beg His grace for us. It is only logical, isn’t it? If we are against having Mary pray for us, we should really be against ever asking anyone else to do the same!
Back to “Black” Friday. I have to ask myself the questions, “When is the last time I have gotten up at 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning to spend time with Jesus in the Scriptures? How much have I sacrificed to be with Him in adoration? Am I going after Jesus like some go after sales the day after Thanksgiving?”
There is really only one thing going for us. Mary perfectly points the way. Jesus puts an end to all that is black.