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Tuesday, July 6, 1999

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St. Maria Goretti

Genesis 32:23-33
Psalm 17
Matthew 9:32-38

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the limp of love

"At sunrise, as he left Penuel, Jacob limped along because of his hip." —Genesis 32:32

Before we accept our God-given vocation, the Lord must call us. Before He calls us to work for Him, He often commands us to "beg the Harvest Master to send out laborers to gather His harvest" (Mt 9:38). Before we love enough to truly beg the Lord for workers, we must have the heart-wrenching experience of recognizing that crowds of people are "lying prostrate from exhaustion, like sheep without a shepherd" (Mt 9:36).

To make a heartfelt prayer for God to send workers, and to answer our own prayer by giving our lives to work for the Lord, our hearts must be stabbed as at the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 2:37) and pierced with a sword of sorrow as was Mary's (Lk 2:35). Our hearts must be spiritually broken and bleeding for us to love, pray, work, and live as the Lord wills. We must have the pain of love if we are to live the life of love. We all need to be like Jacob and be struck by an angel of God so that we will always walk with the limp of a broken, bleeding heart (see Gn 32:26, 32). We must always walk with the limp of love, for in the weakness of crucified love, God's power reaches perfection (2 Cor 12:9).

Pray for Christ's heart and Jacob's limp. Pray for the pain of love and the limp of love.

Prayer:  Father, may I see and love enough to suffer with Jesus (see Col 1:24).

Promise:  "Jesus continued His tour of all the towns and villages. He taught in their synagogues, He proclaimed the good news of God's reign, and He cured every sickness and disease." —Mt 9:35

Praise:  St. Maria implored pardon for her murderer, saying: "I forgive him...May God forgive him...I want him with God in heaven, like the repentant thief."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998