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Thursday, December 17, 1998

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Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:1-17

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the ancient, perfect plan

"Thus the total number of generations is: from Abraham to David, fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian captivity, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian captivity to the Messiah, fourteen generations." —Matthew 1:17

The Lord began the New Testament by revealing that He has a plan — a perfect plan. The first major part of His plan is arranged in three units of fourteen generations. The Messiah was born at just the right time with the exactly right number of centuries in preparation for His coming.

The Lord has a perfect plan for the whole body of Christ and for each one of us (see Heb 11:40). He promises: "I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope" (Jer 29:11). The Lord has planned for us in advance "the life of good deeds" (Eph 2:10). On Judgment Day, if we believe in Jesus and love Him with all our hearts, the Lord will say to us: "Come. You have My Father's blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world" (Mt 25:34).

The Lord's plans are ancient, perfect, and full of hope. Our future is unimaginably glorious, and our present mercifully graced because of His planning in the past. However, we can reject God's plan in our regard by refusing to repent and believe in Jesus (Lk 7:30).

As we near the Christmas season, let us fully accept all God's plans for Christmas and for our lives. Let us accept the parts of His plans too great for us to understand. Let us surrender totally our lives forever to the Lord and His perfect plan.

Prayer:  Father, give us a "Mary" Christmas. May we trust and love Jesus as Mary does.

Promise:  "May His name be blessed forever; as long as the sun His name shall remain. In Him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim His happiness." —Ps 72:17

Praise:  "O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, You govern all creation with Your strong yet tender care."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998