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Monday, December 8, 2008

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Immaculate Conception

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Psalm 98
Luke 1:26-38

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"God chose us in Him before the world began, to be holy and blameless in His sight." —Ephesians 1:4

Jesus has definitively and irreversibly defeated the devil by His death and resurrection. All that's left is to put Jesus' enemies at His feet (Heb 10:13). Jesus' victory over sin and over Satan is available to all of Jesus' followers. We can resist all Satan's temptations and attack the gates of hell (Mt 16:18, JB), for we have authority over all demons (Mt 10:1). All this is true, but we have trouble believing that we can have Jesus' victory in our lives, because we repeatedly fall into sin and are defeated.

In our weakness and sin, Mary is a sign of hope. She defeated the devil every time and proved that God gives us a way out of every temptation (1 Cor 10:13) and that His grace is always sufficient for us (2 Cor 12:9). Because the Lord knew that Mary would always let Him give her victory over all temptations, He gave her the gift of not inheriting the stain of original sin. Mary is a sign that we don't ever have to sin again, that we can expect to be freed from long-time sins, and that Jesus' victory is for us now.

Prayer:  Father, may I no longer let sin rule my body, but may I offer it to You as a weapon for justice (Rm 6:12-13).

Promise:  "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at His heel." —Gn 3:15

Praise:  "God Who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is His name" (Lk 1:49).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus, the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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