"We face an aggressive, organized agenda by elite groups who want to eliminate the influence of Christianity from our society," Archbishop Gomez said, noting that Christian beliefs are being labeled as hatred or intolerance. He pointed to lawsuits against Church institutions which believe what Christ taught and which do not want to cooperate with "practices we find immoral or dehumanizing."
"My friends, we do not have the luxury to choose the times we live in. These are hard times. There is no denying it," he said. "But the saints remind us that all times in the Church are dangerous times."
The archbishop said Christians must ask these questions: "how does God want us to shape our times? What is the path that Jesus Christ would have us follow in this moment in our nation's history?"
"We need to follow the path that the Virgin sets before us - the path of building a new civilization of love and truth in the Americas," he said.
Archbishop Gomez reflected on several themes from the story of Guadalupe: vocation, education, life, culture and family. These themes suggest a strategy for Christian living
Just as Our Lady of Guadalupe asked Juan Diego to build a shrine "to show, praise and testify to God" where people could find God's love, compassion, help and salvation, God is calling Christians "to 'build a shrine' with our lives," the archbishop said.
"Through our work and the way we live. God is calling us to bear witness to his salvation, to the difference that Jesus Christ makes in our lives," Archbishop Gomez continued. "He is calling us to show his love and compassion to our brothers and sisters."
St. Juan Diego had objected to the Virgin Mary that he was not strong enough or holy enough to do what she wanted.
Her response was: "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."
The Los Angeles archbishop exhorted his audience to evangelize: "We are here to share this beautiful treasure of our relationship with the living God - who became a man for us, who gave his life to save us and to make us into a new humanity. Who is living with us now and walking with us as our Friend."