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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

St. Juan Diego

Juan Diego was canonized in 2002 but it was in 1531 that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and asked that a Church be built on the spot, Guadaloupe, near Mexico City. Bishops are hard to convince when it comes to apparitions so Mary told Juan to gather flowers and take them to the bishop. He did this and when he let fall the flowers from his cape, there was a painted picture of Mary. Now there is a Basilica in her honor and she is called Our Lady of Guadaloupe; her feast is celebrated on December 12.
Mary brought consolation to Juan, a poor Mexican Indian; she told him, "Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."
It would be good to hear Mary saying this to us today.
The reading from Isaiah is the same as the second Sunday of Advent; it begins with "Comfort, give comfort to my people says your God." It ends with favorite verses of mine: "Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom and leading the ewes with care." I often feel Jesus carrying me in his arms. It is an image that gives me great comfort.
The Gospel tells us about the man who leaves his sheep to search for the stray one. God is always seeking us; let us be found by God today and carried for He loves us.

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