Our Lady of Guadalupe by Octavio Ocampo
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” John 10:27-30
I have always loved this image of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Octavio Ocampo. You can see all the people in the image, even down to her eyelids where you can see a sombrero on a man. All of us together as one, with Our Lady who looks down indicating, there is one greater than I. All of us in communion with Him.
The other day I received a message from a Protestant brother telling me that we Catholics should realize that Jesus is first and not Mary. I had to sigh. I know he meant well, but what he doesn’t seem to understand is that we Catholics do put Jesus first. In fact, we Catholics have the Doctrine of the Trinity. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who we look to. They are the ultimate union. Three in one. A mystery and a beauty. And we Catholics are called to that union. 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us, “It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.”
We are called to be united with Him. All of us together. Not just Jesus and I alone, though we must have a personal relationship with Him, but when we do have this relationship, it calls us to unity with each other together. The Communion of Saints. Those who have died before us, and those here on earth. The Church Militant, Suffering, and Triumphant.
And as for Mary, as Father Michael Gaitley says (paraphrasing), “If God Himself could choose Mary as the point through which He entrusted Himself to enter this earth, then why can’t we entrust ourselves to Mary as God Himself did.” (from The One Thing Is Three).
When we seek communion with that which is created by God, we are not worshiping the creature, we are worshiping as God Himself asked us to, with each other. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
We know that there is life after earthly death, so with those in heaven we should unite, and with those who are here with us now. We are not meant to go it alone, we are meant to be in communion. What each of us wants is love. The Trinity is Love. And we are made in the image and likeness of that Love. His love for us is self giving, and we in turn, emulating our Lord, should take that self giving out into the world to others, to love.
In prayer of late, I have been picturing this;
It is similar to the back of the Miraculous Medal, but our God, who created the sun and the moon and all of creation sent his Son Jesus to us. The heart of Jesus is in union with the heart of His Mother, because she is in union with the Divine will. Also, I see the Anchor which I wrote about here. I see the church as our Anchor because it was founded by Christ. I see Mary as our mother, in communion with the Divine will, in communion with creation. All of this brought about by love. Be in communion.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39