The Virgin of Guadalupe Speaks

Press Release:  The Virgin of Guadalupe Speaks
For immediate release

At a press conference in Los Angeles, CA, La Virgen de Guadalupe, on the 480th anniversary of her apparition in Mexico, suddenly appeared, held up on a crescent by a little cherubic angel.  With brilliant effulgence surrounding her, she declared her independence from the Catholic Church specifically and from the Christian religion as a whole.  “I belong to all humanity,” she declared.  “No exceptions!”
The Virgin of Guadalupe explained that she appeared to the Indian peasant Juan Diego on December 9, 1531, on a hill near Mexico City where the Aztec goddess Tonantzin once had been worshipped.  Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared to Juan Diego as a dark-skinned young woman.  Through her, the pre-conquest religion of Mexico was absorbed into Catholic Christianity.  “I’ve given hope to millions of oppressed Latin American Catholics,” she said.  “But after almost 500 years of working for one branch of one religion, it’s time for a change.So now I’m taking back the rights to my image, so that I can give those rights to all the people of the world.  From now on, watch for my apparitions not only in Catholic churches, but also in Protestant congregations, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and dangling from the rear-view mirrors of cars belonging to people of all cultures and colors!”
When asked by reporters why she is making this announcement now, she replied:  “When my children suffer, so do I.  When my children are oppressed, I’m oppressed.  I see how religion is being manipulated now to defend an economic and political system that is concentrating money and power into the hands of the few.  I feel so sad for my people!  Even before my apparition in Nazareth 2,011 years ago, I’ve been standing up for the 99%.   As I said long ago, I say now, but with one change of wording:  ‘She has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; she has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich empty away.’”
A massive crowd of people of every ethnicity and background gathered to witness her apparition at the press conference.  “I’ve come back to ‘occupy’ this city because it is a place where all my children meet – from the south, the north, the east, the west.  To make my words in my Magnificat come true, my children must organize and protest and speak out and vote.  Praying through me isn’t enough!  May my children reclaim the dignity they have lost.  Hijos, hijas, don’t worship wealth and power!  Don’t fall for the old lie that rich people’s money will ‘trickle down’ to you!  Don’t listen to the ‘prosperity gospel’ that turns religion into greed!  Don’t bet your life that you’ll win the lottery, or that you’ll win on American Idol, or that you’ll become a rich rap star or become a famous NBA player!  Yes, do the best that you can in this world, but have respect for yourself just the way you are now, with whatever you have today. 

“Like any mother, I have to lead by example.  I have to stand up for myself in a new way, just like I want you to stand up for yourselves, my children.  So goodbye patriarchy and oligarchy, goodbye corporate power and money power.  Hello, people power!”

With those words, La Virgen evaporated into the air in a flash of light.  Her image was seared into the clothing on everyone in the crowd.  And below it was written her name, in the alphabet of the native language of the person wearing it: “Tonantzin”.

About Jim Burklo

Rev. Jim Burklo is the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. An ordained United Church of Christ pastor, he is the author of three books in print, OPEN CHRISTIANITY (2000), BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS (2008), and HITCH-HIKING TO ALASKA: THE WAY OF SOULFUL SERVICE (2013). See more about him at jimburklo.com .


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