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Thursday, January 1, 2009

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Mary, Mother of God

Numbers 6:22-27
Galatians 4:4-7
Psalm 67
Luke 2:16-21

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the beginnings

"When the eighth day arrived for His circumcision, the name Jesus was given the Child, the name the angel had given Him before He was conceived." —Luke 2:21

When we become Christians, we start out as babies, "infants in Christ" (1 Cor 3:1). Just as babies must be taught to talk, walk, eat, clothe themselves, etc., so also baby Christians must be taught to talk, walk, think, feel, and act like Christ. We don't know how to live, or even to start the day or the year. We must be taught every little thing. The world has programmed us to begin the new year by staying up late, altering our consciousness with alcohol, being preoccupied with petty pleasures, and amusing ourselves with the TV-hype of parades and bowl games.

However, Jesus begins His days and years differently. He promised the incredible sign of His birth to a virgin centuries before (Is 7:14). He made her immaculately conceived a generation before. He began His life in the obscurity of a teenager's womb in the country village of Nazareth (Lk 1:35). He began His public life as just one of the crowd waiting in line to be baptized by John (Mt 3:13). Then He fasted for forty days in the desert (Mt 4:2). Jesus began His days praying very early in the morning in a deserted place (Mk 1:35).

Jesus' beginnings were hidden, quiet, humble, and prayerful. How will you begin this year?

Prayer:  Jesus, may I let Your mother Mary teach me to live as You did. May this be a day of prayer for peace and justice in our world.

Promise:  "Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart." —Lk 2:19

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

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

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