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Wednesday, September 8, 2004

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Micah 5:1-4 or
Romans 8:28-30
Psalm 13
Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23

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"a birth unto hope" (1 pt 1:3)

"It was of her that Jesus Who is called the Messiah was born." —Matthew 1:16

We are Christians. We love Jesus. We love everything about Jesus. We love what He loves and treasure what He treasures. We love His mother Mary, His foster-father Joseph, His grandparents, and all His ancestors (Mt 1:1ff). We love all Jesus' adopted brothers and sisters, because Jesus loves them.

Because we are Christians, we are into birth. We are born again, "begotten from above" (Jn 3:3). We received a new birth through the waters of baptism (Ti 3:5). We are "born of the Spirit" (see Jn 3:8). We've been reborn through the word of God (Jas 1:18; 1 Pt 1:23).

This love for birth and for what Jesus treasures leads us to joyfully celebrate the birth of Mary, Jesus' mother and our mother (Jn 19:26). Mary was born so Jesus could be born of her. Mary is therefore declared to be "a sign of certain hope" (Lumen Gentium, 68). Her birth is "a birth unto hope" for all of us (1 Pt 1:3). "And this hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us" (Rm 5:5).

Happy Birthday, Mary, mother of Hope!

Prayer:  Father, in obedience to your command (Ex 20:12), and with all the love in my heart, I honor Mary, my adoptive mother.

Promise:  "We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love God." —Rm 8:28

Praise:  Amanda comes to see more and more Mary's maternal care and protection and has found a refuge in Mary during troubled times.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.) (The Discipleship Retreat, Praying the Psalms and How to Read the Bible, Oct. 1-2, 2004, offers an opportunity to deepen your relationship with Jesus. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004