St. Juan Diego
Thousands of people gathered in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe July 31, 2002, for the canonization of Juan Diego, to whom the Blessed Mother appeared in the 16th century. Pope John Paul II celebrated the ceremony at which the poor Indian peasant became the Church's first saint indigenous to the Americas.
The Holy Father called the new saint "a simple, humble Indian" who accepted Christianity without giving up his identity as an Indian. "In praising the Indian Juan Diego, I want to express to all of you the closeness of the church and the pope, embracing you with love and encouraging you to overcome with hope the difficult times you are going through," John Paul said. Among the thousands present for the event were members of Mexico's 64 indigenous groups.
First called Cuauhtlatohuac ("The eagle who speaks"), Juan Diego's name is forever linked with Our Lady of Guadalupe because it was to him that she first appeared at Tepeyac hill on December 9, 1531. The most famous part of his story is told in connection with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. After the roses gathered in his tilma were transformed into the miraculous image of Our Lady, however, little more is said about Juan Diego.
In time he lived near the shrine constructed at Tepeyac, revered as a holy, unselfish and compassionate catechist who taught by word and especially by example.
During his 1990 pastoral visit to Mexico, Pope John Paul II confirmed the long-standing liturgical cult in honor of Juan Diego, beatifying him. Twelve years later he was proclaimed a saint.
God counted on Juan Diego to play a humble yet huge role in bringing the Good News to the peoples of Mexico. Overcoming his own fear and the doubts of Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, Juan Diego cooperated with God's grace in showing his people that the Good News of Jesus is for everyone. Pope John Paul II used the occasion of this beatification to urge Mexican lay men and women to assume their responsibilities for passing on the Good News and witnessing to it.
"In accepting the Christian message without forgoing his indigenous identity, Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God. Thus he facilitated the fruit meeting of two worlds and became the catalyst for the new Mexican identity, closely united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose mestizo face expresses her spiritual motherhood which embraces all Mexicans. That is why the witness of his life must continue to be the inspiration for the building up of the Mexican nation, encouraging brotherhood among all its children and ever helping to reconcile Mexico with its origins, values and traditions" (St. John Paul II, canonization homily).
Daily Prayer - 2015-12-09
The more we call on God
I will ask God's help,
In the presence of my loving Creator, I look honestly at my feelings over the last day, the highs, the lows and the level ground. Can I see where the Lord has been present?
The Word of God
Reading 1 Is 40:25-31
To whom can you liken me as an equal?
Responsorial Psalm PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 8 and 10
R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 11:28-30
Jesus said to the crowds:
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (Optional Memorial)
Come to me ... and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Do you feel restless as Christmas approaches? If so, these words from Jesus are meant for you. Why did he invite people to rest in him? Maybe he saw how weary they were or how frustrated they felt at not seeing much fruit from their labors. Perhaps he noticed the burdens they were carrying—family challenges, guilt over past sins, or fears for their future. How many of us have felt this way as well!
The good news is that Jesus understands our need for rest. Remember, he often experienced fatigue and difficulties himself. His physical tiredness came from walking miles in the heat, surrounded by crowds of people wanting something from him. But he also felt a spiritual burden, knowing that he would eventually be rejected by many of these same people and condemned to a painful death.
How did Jesus deal with all this stress? By going away to rest in his Father's presence—sometimes all night long (Luke 6:12). Jesus knew that his mission required that he do the hard work of preaching and teaching and healing, but he also knew that it required time apart with his Father so that he could continue on the path laid out for him.
Similarly, God has specific work that he wants us to do, and it can be demanding at times, especially as Christmas Day draws nearer. That's why we have to make time to get away, just to be with Jesus, to receive his rest, his comfort, and his grace. This can pose a challenge to us, but it is so important that we need to make sure we do it. If only for a few moments at a time, we need to put aside our long Christmas to-do lists and postpone all those pressing demands. Think about how refreshing a quick nap can be. Think of how helpful it can be to get outside for a short walk. Now imagine how much more refreshing it can be to spend just a few moments with Jesus!
Today, take time to rest quietly in the Lord's presence. Put the Christmas demands out of your mind—at least for a moment. Don't worry about saying anything. Just relax, and soak up his love.
"Lord, I rest in you. Come and fill me up!"
Today's 5 minutos ends with:
"Hope is always a desire to obtain that which is above us, that is beyond our possibilities. That is why it demands us to lean on Someone greater than ourselves, someone that will lift us up, there where man can not. Let us take notice that the hope grows with suffering and weakness. When our plans fail, we should not fall into sadness and discouragement, but contrary, remember what Jesus said in the Gospel today "take my yoke and I will alleviate". And like so, Jesus is able to, with the weight we carry, to make it lighter. Whomever embrace His load, adds Isaiah, it grows in them wings like an eagle, walk and not faint, run and not grow weary. In Christmas is born a new star, a new luminary. With it are broken all doubts and opens a path to Heaven."
From today's 1st Holy Scripture "They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength". Without Him, then the opposite takes place. Those that don't hope in the Lord will not renew their strength. When spoken backwards, you can see the spiritual realm and reality of what is being said. Those that have no hope are despondent, with a loss of hope and low spirits. These are the people we aim to help...right? Those in prison maybe? Those who are lonely? What if I told you that there are lonely people all around you. It's true. They live life without hope. How can I say that? Because, they are living a life without JESUS! And it begins, this love of God begins inside of you, let it grow, let it show, and let it be a magnet for Christ.
We prayed the Psalms "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." Do you want to bless the Lord? If so, how? Let's not make it rocket science or brain surgery, let's let it be what it is, simple, as simple as saying Yes to Jesus. Yes at everything. All morning at work, it's been hard to break away to write to you. It seems constant problems are arising and I keep asking for mercy. Someone has to be the voice of mercy, someone in all the trouble has to be the voice of Christ, and the responses are "what if we lose the work?" The fears possess people, and doubts can overwhelm you into a blackhole that sucks up all the light that surrounds it. Suddenly the simple yes to the Lord is more like a no, exactly what sin is, a lack of love and a lack of God. Sure you can go to church meetings, sure you can say you believe in God, but really? Bless the Lord O My soul.
Our Lord speaks to us today from Heaven "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves." Take my yoke. What in the world is a yoke? Ain't no farmers out here that need oxen or mules to plow the fields! LOL. This is all too strange. I say this because last night I couldn't sleep. So decided to keep reading the book by Father Mitch Pacwa, which I already suggest to you to read "How To Listen When God Is Speaking" and I was reading for a while and he kept bringing up the whole yoke thing too. He said at one point "it is precisely because of the unity of the human body that the diverse arry of individual organs can work together. Christians who isolate themselves and who are not united with Jesus Christ and one another ironically risk losing their identity and becoming just like everyone else." I like a point he made before that "The yoke that Christ places upon our shoulders includes his companionship as a yoke mate." That is supremely critical. Do you know who you are binding yourself up with? THE KING OF THE WORLD AND UNIVERSE and beyond! I don't think we realize who we are messing with here. For all the dirt and desecration that is going on in the world does not touch or harm the Lord, but ourselves. This yoke is binding, as on earth as it is in Heaven! Every little bad utterance you say can and will be held against you...unless...UNLESS mercy comes into the picture. Monday morning after daily Mass, a man blurted at the end of Mass in spanish "Father, please before everyone leaves, since we are kicking off the year of mercy, can you explain what it is?" And Father spoke "it is about mercy, and about being merciful" It's not about God's mercy alone, it's about the mercy we have the power to exert. And it is exerted in giving. It is exercised when put into practice. It is blessing the Lord. So if you come this far to read what I have to say about so and so, and not to hear about what Jesus is saying, then realize the critical truth, especially before you open your mouth and start being unmerciful to one another. Because then we pray the Lord's words "...forgive us as we forgive". This dirt thrown is unto selves. This degree of mercy is given from within that we will receive. Children, love Your Father. Respect Him naturally with the simple love of a child that knows no wrong. I am imploring from you the Lord's words today "...I am meek and humble of heart".
Say it again, you so called Christ follower, say it all the day "I am meek" and seek only to please the Lord above all, before you open your mouth, before you make a decision, before you doubt, say "I am meek" and then, say: "I am humble of heart". Jesus says learn from Me, take my yoke and the yoke here is the cross like Simon of Cyrene. I am humble. I am nothing without Jesus our Lord and our God from the days of Abraham. I can not save the world alone. Father Mitch says we can not take the "loneranger approach", we need this yoke, we need each other. What you do affects me. YES You! All my actions affect you too. That's why I think twice and ten times before sinning, because I'm afraid what I do will spill out as spiritual advice on this faith sharing and I only want what God wants for you...learn from ME says Jesus, learn from HIM. We are a work in progress and that's why we need Christ, the more, the better. Is it fair that I have all this strength and I not go to someone that does not have strength to pull a heavy load? Is it fair to me? Yet, Jesus the stronger in the world offers this strength. Bind yourself up in holiness, to holiness, with holiness. Let my only pride be the cross, the suffering, the love of God. I need to see it in you, it helps me, it fortifies me, because I am weak, and I cry, and I don't have phsyical nor spiritual strength at times, but when I see you love Jesus like no other, that yoke we are binded with through baptism into One HolY Church edifies me and lifts me up. I need to see you dying for Jesus. I need to see Jesus so madly in love. I need to see it every single day of my life. That's why forever the crucifix will be held up for salvation for a world much in need of healing. Come to the Father and be reconciled and yoked up and choked up in so much love...
GOD I LOVE YOU!
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