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Friday, September 8, 2017

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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Micah 5:1-4 or
Romans 8:28-30
Psalm 13:6
Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23

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not on the map

"But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One Who is to be Ruler in Israel." —Micah 5:1

The "little town" of Bethlehem was too small to be on the map of the tribe of Judah, even though it lay within Judah's borders. God, however, has a different map, and Bethlehem was big in His plans, for it would be the birthplace of the Ruler of Israel and Savior of the world (Lk 2:4).

Mary was a humble teenage girl from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. Nazareth was not well regarded (see Jn 1:46) and neither was the region of Galilee (see Jn 7:52; Mt 4:15). Nazareth and Galilee were not on the spiritual map of the Jews, nor was a teenage virgin girl from that town. Yet that which is last in the eyes of the world would become first in the eyes of God (see Mt 20:16). Mary said "Yes" to the Lord and became the mother of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. So the young girl in the small town that was not even on the map bore a Son Whose greatness reached beyond all four corners of the map (see Mi 5:3).

Perhaps you are insignificant in the eyes of the world. Nonetheless, you are on God's map. You are precious in His sight and your name is carved upon His hands (Is 49:16). He will do great things through your obedient, faithful service to Him (see Jn 14:12). Therefore, "go out now and take your place" on God's map (see Acts 5:20).

Prayer:  Father, You are in the center of my map. Let it be done to me according to Your will.

Promise:  "His greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; He shall be Peace." —Mi 5:3-4

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus became a man in the womb of Mary. Praise the Lord for His loving-kindness!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2017

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