Friday, December 9, 2016

Memorial of Saint Juan Diego Cuanhtlatoatzin, holy man

(Isaiah 48:17-19; Matthew 11:16-19)

There is an old story about something wonderful having happened in Bethlehem.  The marvelous event was the price of steel increasing two cents a pound.  The Bethlehem referred to in this story is not the place where Jesus was born, but Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, an old steel town.  The story demonstrates Jesus’ lesson in today’s gospel.

Like the citizens of Bethlehem, the “generation” which Jesus speaks of is oblivious to the presence of salvation among them.  People of the generation have no more appreciation of the holiness to which the prophets call them than bratty children taunting one another.  They refuse to be moved either by ascetics like John or by more personable preachers like Jesus.

Today the Church remembers St. Juan Diego, the Mexican native who served the Virgen of Guadalupe.  He was anything but oblivious to Jesus.  A fervent convert to Christianity, he only wanted to the Lord’s will as he encountered the Blessed Mother.  He learned from her that God has plans for His people that sometimes differ from those we judge correct.  We must discern in prayer and consultation what God is asking of us and then pursue it with all our hearts.