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Monday, September 8, 1997

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Birth of Mary

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

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high hopes and changing times

"The Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne." — Micah 5:2

Micah prophesied that times would change when a certain mother would give birth. Isaiah prophesied to Ahaz that times would change when a "virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and shall name Him Immanuel" (Is 7:14). Paul taught: "When the designated time had come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman" (Gal 4:4).

A mother giving birth is the Biblical sign of changing times. Mary, through giving birth to Jesus, the Messiah and God, is a sign that we are in the best of times, even despite the appearance of the worst of times. Mother Mary is a sign that "despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it" (Rm 5:20). Mother Mary is a sign that "God makes all things work together for the good of those who love" Him (Rm 8:28).

At Vatican II, the Church called Mary "a sign of certain hope" (The Church, 68). She is a sign that no matter how things look or how we feel, the Lord has plans for our welfare, not for woe, plans to give us "a future full of hope" (Jer 29:11). Mother Mary was present at the foot of the cross. Even at Calvary, the Sorrowful Mother was a sign that times were changing from death to resurrection. Jeremiah prophesied: "The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the Lord, they shall return from the enemy's land. There is hope for your future, says the Lord" (Jer 31:16-17).

Do you wish that times would change for the better — for the Lord? Look to Mary, mother and prophetess of hope.

Prayer:  Father, give us "confident assurance concerning what we hope for" (Heb 11:1).

Promise:  "She was found with child through the power of the Holy Spirit." —Mt 1:18

Praise:  Mary's birth may not have looked like the beginning of the end of the world, but it was.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997