Mary was the first and is the greatest evangelizer. As soon as she conceived Jesus in her womb, she shared Jesus with Elizabeth and John, the baby in Elizabeth's womb (Lk 1:39ff). They both were filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41). After Mary, as Our Lady of Guadalupe, came to St. Juan Diego in Mexico, eight million people came to new life in Jesus over the next seven years. As Pope Paul VI taught, Mary is the star of evangelization (On Evangelization, 82).
Mary, the greatest evangelizer, was pregnant. To effectively share the life of Jesus, we must respect, defend, and nurture life.
Mary was poor. Jesus came to proclaim the good news to the poor (Lk 4:18).
Mary was a healer. She was used by the Lord to heal Juan Diego's uncle.
Mary was a deliverer. Her Mexican name, Tecoatlaxope, means "Crusher of the serpent-god."
Our Lady of Guadalupe gives us a radical understanding of evangelization. Bringing others to Jesus involves not just programs and services, but choosing life in a culture of death and choosing poverty in the midst of out-of-control consumerism. Evangelization means announcing the kingdom of God as we "cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons" (Mt 10:7-8). Evangelize the Americas, Guadalupe-style.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008.