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Thursday, December 9, 1999

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Bl. Juan Diego

Isaiah 41:13-20
Psalm 145
Matthew 11:11-15

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"Fear not, O worm." —Isaiah 41:14

The Israelites were in exile in Babylon. Among other miracles, they needed to go home; they had to walk hundreds of miles across a desert. They had no more chance than a worm or a maggot to cross that desert and climb its mountains (see Is 41:14). However, the Lord promised to take Israel's weakness and make it as powerful (2 Cor 12:9) as a super-threshing sledge, which could crush and level mountains (Is 41:15).

The Lord promises to take our fallen human nature and make us adopted children of God. "God chose those whom the world considers absurd to shame the wise; He singled out the weak of this world to shame the strong. He chose the world's lowborn and despised, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who were something" (1 Cor 1:27-28). Even when we are defeated and degraded by sin, the Lord will accept us, lead us to repentance and forgiveness, and make us more than conquerors (Rm 8:37). At the end of the world, Jesus will return and raise up the bodies of those who seem to have been destroyed by death but have died in Him. Then we, in all our weakness, will be given the power to meet Jesus in the clouds (1 Thes 4:17). Jesus has worked all things together for the good of the worms and the weak who love Him (Rm 8:28).

Prayer:  Abba, the Holy Spirit cries out Your name in my heart (Gal 4:6).

Promise:  "I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he." —Mt 11:11

Praise:  On Dec. 9, 1531, Blessed Juan Diego rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to attend Mass in what is now Mexico City.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999