Yesterday, Mexicans celebrated the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. They say that millions of people made the pilgrimage to the Basilica where she first appeared to the indian Juan Diego. Here is the CNN story about it. Jim Cottrill has a good historical article about it on his blog.
It is a lot different when you live it and see it. We have visited the Basilica once, and it is a huge place. I couldn’t imagine being there when millions of people are there. When we visited, and we saw a few people crawling on their knees, but nothing, I’m sure, like the sight yesterday of 4 million people worshipping. There are shrines everywhere you go. Every taxi has a picture of her in it. We saw hundreds of people lined up to ride their bikes to the Basilica on Sunday. We heard the canons and fireworks on Sunday night. I wonder what Jesus thinks about it.
When you read stories like this one, you can’t help but think that it is a worship of someone other than Jesus. For many Mexicans, the Virgin is God. She is the one they worship more than Jesus. She is part of the trinity. In a culture that is very adoring of their mothers, one could expect to see some of this. I cannot help but wonder how all of this came about. Where does this devotion come from? It is definitely an interesting cultural phenomenon. It is a big challenge for evangelicals here in Mexico. Please pray for us as we try to minister in this culture.