​God cares passionately for His people, archbishop tells those assembled for Our Lady of Guadalupe l

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God cares passionately for His people, archbishop tells those assembled for Our Lady of Guadalupe liturgy

A longtime San Antonio tradition, the Our Lady of Guadalupe midnight Mass at San Fernando Cathedral, again saw a full sanctuary on December 12, and while the large serenata celebration usually held just prior was pre-taped this year, matachines and drummers insured that music and dance were still part of the festivities.

“The joy of the gospel does not presuppose or depend on the joys of this world. Neither does it replace or complement them. It provides them with a foundation and their true lasting meaning,” Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, began his homily. “However, the joy of the gospel does not God’s gift of joy does not mean the absence of problems; nor is it the fruit of unattainable fantasies, or false and artificial desires that lead to frustration and failure.”

He explained that Christian joy is a sign of true peace, serenity and confidence. “It is rooted in the trust that is a fruit of an encounter with the One who is truly trustworthy. By becoming one of us, and going through the same issues with which we have to deal — except sin — the Lord proves to us that it is not that bad to be us,” the archbishop continued. “All on the contrary, by coming into our world, our world becomes God’s own world. That means liberation in every imaginable way and beyond.”

Pope Francis has said that, “The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. … No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew.”

The San Antonio prelate reassured listeners that God always hears their prayers. “Although He might not respond to them as we wish, we are confident that he always surpasses our expectations,” acknowledged Archbishop Gustavo. “In the wilderness, John the Baptist invited people — including us — to join him in renewing our covenant with God — repenting of our sins — changing the way we live by walking in God’s ways and observing God’s law. This means that we have to take risks, in all situations and circumstances, trusting in God’s providence and love.”

Our Blessed Mother of Guadalupe said to Saint Juan Diego: “Rest assured that I will thank you very much and I will pay you. And for this I will make you happy, I will give you happiness and you will deserve much to reward your weariness and your work, with which you are going to put into action what I have given you in commission. Look, my son, the most helpless one, you have already heard my saying and my word; do everything that is on your part.”

The Missionary of the Holy Spirit urged the faithful to respond like Saint Juan Diego — in our particular vocation — bearing witness to the joy of knowing that we have been given a savior who is near: “My Lady and Queen: I am leaving to make your saying and your word come true.”