Eddie Bradley ’88

As an alumnus who lives in South Bend, I frequently take advantage of the University of Notre Dame campus amenities. One of my favorite things to do is to run around the lake paths. Their attraction is centering and peaceful for so many, but it also happens to be where my daughter installed the tree art of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is a beautiful reminder to me of the artistic talents God has given her and of her heart for social justice.

I often reflect on when we installed her artwork in 2017 during the contentious political climate at that time. It opened my eyes to reflect on Our Lady of Guadalupe as a champion for those who lack power in society.

The story of the native peasant, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, and his tilma that would bear the image of Our Lady was a sign of Mary’s love and care for the poor and the marginalized. It was not only true in Juan Diego’s time but continues into today as Our Lady of Guadalupe reminds us not to forget those dismissed as a faceless, nameless other.

The crowds following John the Baptist in today’s gospel asked him what they should do. As simple as his answers were, they were challenging instructions to follow. Sharing two cloaks, not collecting more than prescribed, not extorting or falsely accusing—these were all reminders to act with justice towards those that could be ignored or exploited because of their lack of power.

Let us ask Our Lady of Guadalupe today on her feast day to be a constant reminder for us. May she enable us to be aware of those less fortunate than ourselves. May we speak and act in a manner that brings dignity to all people regardless of their ethnicity or place in life.