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Saturday, July 6, 2002

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St. Maria Goretti

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

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the ruins

"I will wall up its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old." —Amos 9:11

In our culture of death, many people and things are in ruins. Marriages, families, ministries, neighborhoods, cities, finances, and whole lives are in ruins. Humanly, it is impossible to raise up these ruins. However, "nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37).

In fact, the Lord promises that He will raise up even the ancient ruins — lives and things that have been ruined for so long that hardly anyone even thinks of their restoration. Yet the Lord promises: "They shall rebuild the ancient ruins, the former wastes they shall raise up and restore the ruined cities, desolate now for generations" (Is 61:4).

Furthermore, the Lord promises: "The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; 'Repairer of the breach,' they shall call you, 'Restorer of ruined homesteads' " (Is 58:12). The Lord will rebuild the ancient ruins for our sakes. He will even work through us, and we will be called "repairers" and "restorers." We can even be part of the New Testament fulfillment of the prophecies of Amos and Isaiah (see Acts 15:16).

Consequently, when you see our civilization in ruins, don't despair. Be filled with hope, for we know the Lord's promises and His faithfulness in fulfilling His promises (Jos 23:14). Then, "should anyone ask you the reason for this hope of yours, be ever ready to reply" (1 Pt 3:15).

Prayer:  Father, when I see ruins, may I let You bring a smile to my face.

Promise:  "They pour new wine into new wineskins, and in that way both are preserved." —Mt 9:17

Praise:  St. Maria Goretti died forgiving her murderer, thus laying the foundation of salvation in his life.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001