On December 12th, several years ago, a little girl, along with her whole family, said, “Yes,” to the Lord; a “yes” to a disease that would only bring them suffering, a lot of pain, anguish, and anxiety without ever understanding why. Today that girl, Christy, is not with us. She flew to God because her “yes” to her cross had borne fruit. Her mission in this world was over. Today, thanks to her “yes,” Build the Faith exists and you are reading this blog. Today her cross, carried with patience and full trust, continues to build faith.
Christina did not complain; she was patient with the doctors’ visits and the treatments. She knew that her “yes” to the cross would bring fruit. I know that Christy’s parents and siblings see that fruit. I know that with her they embraced the cross and said “yes” to the Lord; that is why today they continue to honor Christina’s legacy by building faith, not only in buildings, but also in our hearts.
Christy’s “yes” is born from the “yes” of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Mary has three very strong moments in her life when she generously says “yes” to God, the Father. The first was her “yes” to the Word, the day of the Incarnation of the Lord. The second was her “yes” to the Cross, where she sees her Son die. Her third “yes” was to the Holy Spirit, whom without a doubt Mary was the first to receive that morning of Pentecost in the Upper Room.
The Church was born from the Cross, through the power of the same Spirit that rested on the Virgin Mary in the Incarnation and at Pentecost. Mary did not understand what all that was happening to her could mean, but the fruit of her cross was the joy of seeing the Church born.
In 1531, an image of the Virgin Mary was imprinted on the poncho of a poor, insignificant, unknown Indigenous native named Juan Diego. Juan said “yes” to the Lord. He, too, suffered as a consequence of his “yes,” but he felt in his heart the strength of the Holy Spirit who called him to build a church where Our Lady would be venerated and where all of us could go to pray for our needs. He began to build the faith of the Mexican people by taking the message of the Virgin to the Bishop in that area.
Today Christy’s parents carry out Build the Faith with a joy and strength that are born from their “yes” to the cross. Let us pray for them so that the Holy Spirit of God guides and enlightens them on their path of faith and hope.
I believe that this feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patroness of all America, invites us to be faithful sowers of hope, communicators of God for those around us. It is not enough to contemplate and pray to Mary; I believe that we must bring Mary to our homes, to our work, to our everyday life. Let’s walk with Mary towards Jesus.
May Mary teach us to say “yes” daily so that we can communicate silently, but effectively, the Christ that we carry within us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, grant this to us!
Paula Gomez Victorica was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was a contemplative nun of the Order of Saint Benedict for 20 years. Since 2001, she has lived in Natick, Massachusetts.
Paula is a Certified Spiritual Director. She currently teaches Biblical Spirituality in asynchronous courses online at Boston College. She is the Coordinator of the Hispanic Community at Saint Ignatius Parish, Chestnut Hill, MA. She is also a Eucharistic Minister and collaborates in the pastoral and enrichment commissions in two parishes of the Metrowest.