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Saturday, December 19, 1998

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Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71
Luke 1:5-25

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praying for years?

"Do not be frightened, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard." —Luke 1:13

Most of us have been praying several years for certain people and things. This Christmas season, an angel may say to us: "Your prayer has been heard" (Lk 1:13). However, instead of believing the angel, we will be tempted to doubt his statement. Often our faith is weakened when for years we pray for something and do not receive the answer we hope for. Then if the Lord does grant our request, we are too weak in faith to accept His grace. Therefore, we must "grow strong" in our "holy faith" in these last few days of Advent (Jude 20).

Pray for increased faith (Lk 17:5). Spend more time in God's word, for "faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of God" (Rm 10:17, our transl). Ask the Lord to use all the trials in your life to fire-try your faith (see 1 Pt 1:6-7).

This Christmas, we don't need to be spiritually dumb as was Zechariah (Lk 1:20). We need to be like Mary, full of faith and ready for any way the Lord wants to answer our prayers. Grow deep in faith for a "Mary" Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, may my faith move mountains, and not my mountains move my faith (Mt 17:20).

Promise:  "The boy grew up and the Lord blessed him; the spirit of the Lord first stirred him." —Jgs 13:24-25

Praise:  "O Flower of Jesse's stem, You have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in Your presence; the nations bow down in worship before You. Come, let nothing keep You from coming to our aid."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998