Dear Friends:

Joshua speaks to the elders of Israel in Shechem saying: “If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve… As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” A very direct comment was made to those who are responsible for the well-being of the people. Not only that they have food and shelter, but most of all that they follow the law of God who had freed them from slavery. Joshua understood that a people without good leadership are doomed people. If leaders don’t know how to challenge people to do difficult things, and only seek to placate them, then there is no real development as a nation. Indeed, as Joshua rightly warns the people of Israel, if they are not clear about who they serve, they will remain strangers in a foreign. They will not reach the promised land God has in store for them.

Jesus challenges his disciples with a doctrine that many of his followers cannot stomach. That to have eternal life one must eat his body and drink his blood. Notice, he was showing them the way to eternal life, he was leading them out of the true bondage of sin and death, but many chose to abandon Jesus and remain in the captivity of the slavery of sin. Like so many, they wanted God to save them and provide for all of their needs without any sacrifice or trust on their part. They want everything for free because: “they deserve it!” Sound familiar???

Being rejected is always a possibility for any leader. So often it seems that all people want from their leaders are their needs attended to without any cost. Once a cause, idea, belief, or system of convictions begins to require real struggle from all involved, then we begin to see how deep the convictions are. A good leader, if he/she is sure of the path they are inviting others to walk, must stand the course and lead by example. You must be able to show success and give good reasons for people to trust you. Finally, a good leader, though he/she invites others to trust in them, must trust in God to move hearts and minds if the cause be just and right.

Every week I make that challenge to those who love Our Lady of Guadalupe and this sacred Shrine dedicated to her. I call upon all to consider making a special financial gift in order that we may complete our new Entrance to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It will be a testament of our faith, but most of all a welcoming door to all who need their faith strengthened through Our Lady’s intercession. May God reward you 100 times over for being generous to this cause.

Please visit us at: