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Saturday, July 4, 1998

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St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Amos 9:11-15
Psalm 85
Matthew 9:14-17

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hope for the repentant

"I will bring about the restoration of My people." —Amos 9:14

After more than eight chapters of blistering condemnations, the book of Amos concludes with a prophecy of hope. The ruins will be raised up (Am 9:11). The people of God will be rebuilt (Am 9:11). A defeated people will conquer once again (Am 9:12). "Yes, days are coming, says the Lord, when the plowman shall overtake the reaper" (Am 9:13). The Lord's restored people will be blessed and fruitful. The last word is "hope" and "life."

The Lord promises: "I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call Me, when you go to pray to Me, I will listen to you. When you look for Me, you will find Me. Yes, when you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot" (Jer 29:11-14). "Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool. If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land; but if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken!" (Is 1:18-20) "This hope will not leave us disappointed" (Rm 5:5).

Prayer:  Father, on this Independence Day, may I cross the threshold of hope and be truly free.

Promise:  "He proclaims peace. To His people, and to His faithful ones, and to those who put in Him their hope..." —Ps 85:9

Praise:  Elizabeth personally stopped two civil wars in her country by reconciling the rival leaders, her family members, to one another. "Blest too the peacemakers; they shall be called (children) of God" (Mt 5:9).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997