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Friday, April 11, 1997

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St. Stanislaus

Acts 5:34-42
Psalm 27
John 6:1-15

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jesus and the church

"If, on the other hand, it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them without fighting God Himself." —Acts 5:39

The culmination of the Easter season is Pentecost. Pentecost involves both the coming of the Spirit and the birthday of the Church. Those who are committed to the risen Christ and filled with the Spirit love the Church (Eph 5:25). The Spirit and the Bride (the Church) are of one accord (Rv 22:17).

Jesus loved the Church so much that He died for her (Eph 5:25). The Church is Jesus' body (e.g. 1 Cor 12:12). If one member of the Church suffers, Jesus suffers (1 Cor 12:26). If we hear the Church, we hear Jesus (Lk 10:16). If we reject the Church, we reject Jesus (Lk 10:16). If we fight the Church, we are fighting Jesus, Who is God (Acts 5:39). If we persecute the Church, Jesus says: "Why do you persecute Me?" (Acts 9:4) Jesus identifies with the Church this way because He loves her so much.

Jesus so identifies with the Church that, if you mess with the Church, you mess with Jesus, and, if you love the Church, you love Jesus. Love the Church as Jesus does (Eph 5:25), and you are loving Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, may I love the Church despite her stains and wrinkles (see Eph 5:27).

Promise:  "Jesus then took the loaves of bread, gave thanks, and passed them around to those reclining there; He did the same with the dried fish, as much as they wanted." —Jn 6:11

Praise:  Stanislaus was such an anointed pastor that his own bishop wanted to step down and appoint Stanislaus as bishop in his place, an offer which Stanislaus refused.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996