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Tuesday, November 12, 1996

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St. Josaphat

Titus 2:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 37
Luke 17:7-10

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counting sheep

"No opponent will be able to find anything bad to say about us, and hostility will yield to shame." —Titus 2:8

Two-thirds of the Catholic people living in the boundaries of the typical parish in the USA don't regularly go to Mass on Sunday. Most of those who do go on Sundays don't go on other days. Many people who even go to church regularly don't know many fellow parishioners. They often are alone in enduring such tragedies as divorce, family breakdown, serious sickness, addictions, or bereavement. Our people desperately need pastoring.

This does not mean that the priest tries to become the Messiah, but that:

  • the older men take the lead (Ti 2:2),
  • older women minister to the young women (Ti 2:3-4),
  • we focus on strengthening marriages and families (see Ti 2:4),
  • the pastor challenges the young men to purity and holds them accountable (see Ti 2:6),
  • the teaching of the parish has "the integrity of serious, sound words to which no one can take exception" (Ti 2:8),
  • we emphasize that "the grace of God has appeared, offering salvation to all" (Ti 2:11), and
  • we train our parishioners "to reject godless ways and worldly desires, and live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age as we await our blessed hope" (Ti 2:12-13).

If you love Jesus, do your part in caring for His sheep (Jn 21:16). "God's flock is in your midst; give it a shepherd's care" (1 Pt 5:2). "When the chief Shepherd appears you will win for yourselves the unfading crown of glory" (1 Pt 5:4).

Prayer:  Father, may my heart be moved with pity for the sheep without a shepherd who lie prostrate from exhaustion (Mt 9:36).

Promise:  "It was He Who sacrificed Himself for us, to redeem us from all unrighteousness and to cleanse for Himself a people of His own, eager to do what is right." —Ti 2:14

Praise:  In less than three years, Josaphat restored unity and zeal in his diocese.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 2, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 1996