Today we celebrate the fact that Mary intercedes for Africa. When Herod sought to kill the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph took shelter in Africa. At a time when our continent is faced with turmoil, suffering under the yoke of neo-colonialism, we need Mother Mary’s intercession more than ever.

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Watch out for any form of hatred in your heart. Why do you hate your fellow human being? Is it because of what they did to you or just because they are more popular than you? Could it be because this person is better than you in your workplace or business environment? Rather than trying to bring this person down by all means, why not go to him or her like Nicodemus to learn, why not go and ask them how they are able to do better than you? If they tell you, would you be willing to do it?

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Mary is that Virgin Isaiah spoke of as a sign to the people of Israel that God has finally sent them the Saviour they have been expecting. Mary’s Yes to God earned her the exalted title of “Ark of the covenant.” The first Ark contained the two stone tablets God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai while the second is Mary who carried Jesus in her womb for nine months. Just as no one could accuse the Israelites of idolatry in their treatment of the Ark, no one can accuse Christians today of idolatry for honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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In the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus revealed his true identity as God who has power over the whole of creation. By agreeing to turn water into wine at a wedding, Jesus, who (during His temptations), refused to turn stones to bread teaches us the importance of marriage, his love for us as our Groom, and his respect for Mary his Mother. Jesus gave the couple the gift of a miracle teaching us to generously offer ourselves as gifts to others.

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I pray for you that this new year, you shall rise to your true position as a Son in God’s house. That you shall eat no longer remnants but real food from the golden plate of God’s word, the Bible.

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o matter what may be the situation in your family right now, bear this in mind: first, there is no such thing as a perfect family out there just as there is no perfect human being. So stop comparing your family to another. Secondly, no matter how bad things are right now, you can still change them. Revive the daily family prayer, reawaken love for one another, bring family to church and church to family, apply discipline by first showing good examples. Sing: “My lifetime… my family… I give God my family….”

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As Christmas approaches and the year itself comes to an end, let us pause for a while to count our blessings; enough of complaints. As bad as things may be for you right now, never forget that there are many who wished to see this day but are now resting in peace. Be like Hannah. Be like Mary. Give Thanks.

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Elizabeth was not a priest nor was she a scholar but by the Holy Spirit, she became a Dogmatic Theologian; she defined the doctrine of Mary as the Mother of God, and she began active devotion to Mary. This is why we must constantly pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

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Let us learn from Mary to say to God: “Behold I am your handmaid, let your will be done in my life.” Mary abandoned herself for God and her consent allowed God to work mightily in her.

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What is Christmas? God stooped low to our level. He came not as a warrior but as a baby – humility. Learn to forget your wealth, decrees and qualifications and try to stoop low to help as many people as you can. Then you will be truly be celebrating Christmas.

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he role of Joseph in the life of Jesus proves that every child needs a father; one who is there to provide, protect and train. Today is another day to say a big thank you to our Fathers; the men who were there for us from cradle, the men who bore the harsh heat of the sun and worked all day just to put food on our tables, the men who were our first teachers in the faith, the men who disciplined us when we went astray.

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In celebrating Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we are reminded that there is no limit to what God can do in us and through us if only we allow God to have His way in our lives by doing His will; that is, by saying “Yes” just as Mary said: “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). We utter our “yes” to God by living a life that is holy and blameless.

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