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Saturday, December 9, 2006

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St. Juan Diego

Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Psalm 147
Matthew 9:35—10:1, 5-8

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reasonable expectations

"At the sight of the crowds, His heart was moved with pity." —Matthew 9:36

Jesus does not expect us to be strong but weak. In our weakness His power reaches perfection (2 Cor 12:9). He does not expect us to be independent and self-sufficient, but rather childlike (Mt 18:3). We don't need will-power, just willingness. He'll provide the power and "authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind" (Mt 10:1). All He expects is that we give as a gift what has been given us (Mt 10:8) by laboring in His harvest (Mt 9:38). Jesus simply expects us to try and keep trying, to believe and receive, to pray and obey. Is that too much to ask?

Jesus has paid the price, saved the world, and won the victory. All He asks of us is that we proclaim the good news of His kingdom. We don't have to win the war, just announce the Winner, Jesus. He's done all the work. Our work is to have faith in the One the Father sent (Jn 6:29). Is faith too much to ask? He was crucified and died on the cross. What more could He do? Is it too much to ask us to be His witnesses? Yet "the harvest is good but laborers are scarce" (Mt 9:37). All Jesus asks is that we love Him enough to obey Him.

Prayer:  Lord, during this Advent, pull me out of the rut of apathy. May I tell at least one person a day about You. May I lead at least one person to You before Christmas.

Promise:  "On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of His people, He will heal the bruises left by His blows." —Is 30:26

Praise:  St. Juan Diego was immediately rewarded for his faith and obedience, and that reward, the tilma with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, hangs in glory five hundred years later.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006

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