by Pete Ascosi

A few years ago I had the opportunity to go to Mexico City. As I gazed on the tilma bearing the miraculous image of Our Lady hanging in the Basilica and walked the grounds, I was reminded that all of this happened because a simple farmer named Juan Diego was willing to share his story with others. 

When Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, she gave him a message to carry to the bishop. Despite some hesitation, Juan Diego eventually went and shared the story of his encounter with Our Lady with the bishop. 

What was the result of St. Juan Diego sharing his story?

Within a few years of this apparition, millions came to be baptized in Mexico and throughout the Americas. A great wave of holiness swept through the continents – raising up saints and heroes of the faith in every country.

This is God’s vision for Evangelization. 

Our story, shared, like St. Juan Diego’s, has the power to change lives.

We may feel ill-equipped. When Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, he hesitated, saying, "I am only a man of the fields, a poor creature." Don’t we feel the same way at times? Lord, I’m too shy or I’m too old or I don’t know my theology… 

Our Lady responded to Juan Diego’s hesitation with these words, "Understand that I have many servants and messengers who I could send to deliver my message and do my will. But it is absolutely necessary that you yourself go."

Brothers and sisters, this message is for you and me. Our Lady’s message echoes our Lord’s personal call to each one of us. He knows everything—our sins, our weaknesses, our failures. And still He wants to use you and me to spread His kingdom. 

Just as God used St. Juan Diego, He wants to use us to deliver His message. Today may we ask for the intercession of Mary, our Mother, for the grace to renew our commitment to being ambassadors for Christ. Amen.


For Further Reflection

Watch Fr. Erik Arnold’s Talk Put Out Into the Deep for a Catch from the Sharing Christ course. He shares God’s vision for evangelization and the full story of St. Juan Diego's encounter with Our Lady of Guadalupe.