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Thursday, December 9, 2004

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St. Juan Diego

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

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you cockroach, you!

"Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the Lord." —Isaiah 41:14

God calls the chosen people a "worm" and a "maggot." This is like calling someone today a "cockroach." It's not an uplifting name but one that prompts you to look for a can of insecticide. However, when the Lord calls us a "cockroach," He's actually exaggerating our power. Of ourselves, we don't have even the capabilities of a cockroach. Without Jesus, we can literally do nothing (Jn 15:5).

Jesus takes us in our nothingness and makes us "a threshing sledge...to thresh the mountains and crush them, to make the hills like chaff" (Is 41:15). The Lord so exalts us that "the least born into the kingdom of God" is greater than John the Baptizer, the greatest man who had ever lived up to that time (Mt 11:11). In Christ, we who were worms, maggots, and cockroaches are now greater than Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. The Lord has been so good to us, giving us "more than we ask or imagine" (Eph 3:20). "The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad indeed" (Ps 126:3).

Prayer:  Lord, "what is man that You should be mindful of him, or the son of man that You should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of Your hands, putting all things under his feet" (Ps 8:5-7).

Promise:  "I will set in the wasteland the cypress, together with the plane tree and the pine, that all may see and know, observe and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it." —Is 41:19-20

Praise:    St. Juan Diego's simple faith in his Blessed Mother has led to blessings for millions of her children.

Reference:  (You may wish to order our leaflet Thankful to Be Catholic or on audio AV 49-1 or video V-49.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004