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Wednesday, September 8, 1999

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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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hope springs

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

Micah prophesied that the Lord would give His people up until the mother of the Messiah had given birth to Him. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be called " 'Emmanuel,' a name which means 'God is with us' " (Mt 1:23; Is 7:14). After Mary had given birth to her Son, Who was both the Messiah and the Son of God, we would never have to feel that the Lord had given us up. Now we can know that He is with us always, even until the end of the world (Mt 28:20).

Today's celebration, the birthday of Mary, makes us think of the birthday of Jesus. Since the time of His birth, we have reason to be hopeful and joyful. Consequently, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is "a sign of certain hope and comfort" (Vatican II, The Church, 68). Today, like any birthday, is a day of joy. Unlike any birthday other than her Son's, however, Mary's birthday is an occasion for special graces of new hope. Today, we can know as never before that the Lord works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Rm 8:28). "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, Mom, sacrament of sure hope!

Prayer:  Father, may this birthday be an immediate and significant preparation for the Great Jubilee.

Promise:  "It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this Child. She is to have a Son and you are to name Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins." —Mt 1:20-21

Praise:  All praise to You, God of majesty and power, for creating the sinless soul of the mother of our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999