Bishop Brungardt shares message with thousands at Mexico City basilica
Editor’s Note: The following is Part I of a two-part series. The second part, to be printed Nov. 23, will include interviews with local participants, as well as several photos printed in full color.
The Most Rev. John B. Brungardt was the main celebrant at an Oct. 24 Mass held at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, which houses the original tilma holding the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Thirty local Kansans accompanied Bishop Brungardt on the pilgrimage to Mexico City, and more than a few expressed that they felt a surge of pride when the bishop announced to as many as 50,000 people, “I am Bishop John Brungardt of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, in the state of Kansas, in the country to the North.”
Here is the bishop’s homily, in its entirety:
Greetings to all! I am Bishop John Brungardt of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, in the state of Kansas, in the country to the North. We are 30 pilgrims who have journeyed to the site of the most blessed miracle, our Virgin’s loving meetings with Saint Juan Diego. She filled him with hope in her Son Jesus. Our Mother Mary taught Saint Juan a deepening faith in the saving gift of Jesus our Lord.
We celebrate today the feast of Saint Raphael Guízar y Valencia, bishop of Veracruz, Mexico (1878-1938). He was canonized October 15, 2006 in St. Peter’s square by Pope Benedict XVI. St. Raphael Guízar taught and lived the virtues as a good shepherd to the people in Mexico, especially to the least of our brothers and sisters.
Saint Paul teaches the theological virtues to the Ephesians in our first reading today: “… bearing with one another through love, … as you were also called to one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism …” We remember the second reading last Sunday, also from Saint Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians: “… unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ …”
The three theological virtues, virtues about God, are the foundation of living our Catholic Church. Faith is that deep belief in God and His ways. Hope is trust in God and His plan for our lives. Love is unconditional, sacrificial, and a giving of ourselves to God and neighbor.
Our Blessed Mother teaches us well about these virtues of faith, hope, and love:
Faith: At Nazareth, the Angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus, the mother of God. Full of wonder, Our Lady responded with a profound faith: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Hope: In the difficult journey to Bethlehem with Joseph and unborn baby Jesus, in great poverty and hardship, the Holy Family had great hope that God was with them. The Heavenly Father would not abandon them. And: “She gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).
Love: At the foot of the Cross, Mary’s love for her Son was overflowing, with intense grief at the death of Jesus. And Jesus cared for her with love beyond measure, telling the Apostle John: “Here is your mother” (John 19:27). Jesus brought salvation to Mary, and to us.
What do we do? How do we live the virtues of faith, hope, and love? Why are we here at this holy place? We ask our Blessed Mother to intercede for us, that we may deepen our relationship with her Son Jesus. We pray that we grow in a profound faith, a lively hope, and a sacrificial love for God and for all.
Let us grow in faith by reading the Bible as a family every day. Let us grow in hope by receiving the sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Confession/Reconciliation and the Most Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus. Let us grow in a sacrificial love with our spouse, children, family members, co-workers, neighbors, and all, especially the least of our brothers and sisters.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the holy role model we wish to imitate.
Thank you, Morenita. Thank you, Saint Raphael Guízar y Valencia. Thank you, Jesus. Jesus and Mary love us more than we can ask or imagine!