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Our Lady of Guadalupe: Icon of Justice

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One of the most evident ways in which Our Lady of Guadalupe is an icon of justice is the care and sensitivity with which she reached out to the marginalized members of 16th century Mexican society.

"Commitment to human life and dignity, to human rights and solidarity"; these are elements of what is commonly understood as social justice. In the Church today we have numerous "icons" we can look to in order to guide us in living a life that promotes justice. Maximillian Kolbe, Oscar Romero, Saint Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day are a few of the better known members of the community of justice. There is another that we can and should begin looking to: Our Lady of Guadalupe.

One of the most evident ways in which Our Lady of Guadalupe is an icon of justice is the care and sensitivity with which she reached out to the marginalized members of 16th century Mexican society. In taking on the appearance and speaking in the language of the indigenous, conquered population she showed that they were valued by God and had a place of honor in the Church. Our Lady of Guadalupe also reminds us of the need and responsibility to lift up the oppressed and defeated. As people of faith we can do nothing but reach out to those most in need; be it physically, spiritually or emotionally. By her example we are reminded that we are to meet people where they are. In terms of justice this means going where the need is the greatest and not being afraid to take the risk of stepping out of our comfort zone. It is a powerful lesson.

A final lesson we can take for Our Lady of Guadalupe is that of the need for solidarity in our church. One of the lasting effects of here appearance at Guadalupe was the spread of Christianity in Latin and Central America. To this day, she remains a central image of faith to millions. In terms of justice she teaches us that everyone is invited to the table of Christ and as a goal we should be working for unity among all the children of God. Whether you personally have a relationship with Our Lady of Guadalupe she stands as an icon of justice for all Catholics.

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