Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Miracle-Worker... for Workers

So, the Guadalupe Triduum began today with the feast of Juan Diego -- the "simple, humble" visionary of Tepeyac who was canonized by Juan Pablo II (el primer Papa mexicano) on his last pilgrimage to the shrine in July 2002.

Yet for all the hagiography that's called him the messenger "that Christ [was] to be 'born' again among the peoples of the New World" or, as the late pontiff put it, "the catalyst for the new Mexican identity," the married father of three who called himself a "nobody" is widely viewed as a saint of the people, especially those who struggle -- among other things, both a San Diego-based outreach aiding newly-arrived immigrants and a South Chicago community project that supplements local education and health-care efforts bear his name.

These days, though, it could be said his appeal is cutting an even broader swath.

From newsrooms and market-floors to factories and car showrooms -- and, so it seems, everywhere in between -- the waves of the economic crisis continue their devastating toll, from the ceaseless storm of layoffs, bankruptcies, bailouts and and buyouts to the spiraling figures of home foreclosures and 401(k)s wiped out to rising costs and, most especially, no shortage of folks having to work harder and longer than they did before, in many cases just to bring home even less.

In a nutshell, whether directly or not, the difficulties of these days affect every last one of us... and as if we needed any more of it in these Advent days, they remind us anew that if it was good enough for God's Son to make His first priority here below those most in need of His presence, His hope, His comfort and light, then His Church is duty-bound to follow His lead.

Sure, there's always St Joseph the Worker... but just in case any among us are seeking another powerful patron in the workplace or on the job market, good authority says Juan Diego works his fare share of wonders, too. If nothing else, he's worth a shot...
Lord God,
through blessed Juan Diego you made known
the love of Our Lady of Guadalupe
toward your people.
Grant by his intercession
that we who follow the counsel of Mary, our Mother,
may strive continually to do your will.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
...and now -- with but one night separating us from American Catholicism's most massive, impassioned annual outpouring of all -- more matachines: