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Saturday, November 6, 1999

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Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27
Psalm 145
Luke 16:9-15

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unchurched church-goers?

"Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send you greetings." —Romans 16:16

The Lord calls us not only to go to church but to be members of the Church. This means that we are called to be baptized (that is, immersed) in the body of Christ, the Church (1 Cor 12:13). We are to continue steadfastly in Christian community life (Acts 2:42). We must live our baptismal brotherhood and sisterhood "in deed and in truth and not merely talk about it" (1 Jn 3:18).

Are you obeying the Lord's commands in the Bible to live a communal life? Are you living a communal life in accord with the meaning of Baptism? If you can write something similar to what Paul wrote in the sixteenth chapter of Romans, then you are probably living a communal life which is pleasing to the Lord. In that chapter, Paul mentions or greets by name over thirty people. Moreover, the church of Rome was only one of the communities Paul worked with. Additionally, Paul's relationships with most of these people were not superficial; they were deep. For example, Prisca and Aquila "risked their lives" for Paul (Rm 16:4). To be in Christian community is to live in such a context which will make it possible for us to know and love deeply many Christian brothers and sisters. In our Western society, we have tried to live more independent, less committed life-styles. This experiment has proven to be a failure. Let us come back to Church, that is, to the communal life described in the New Testament.

Prayer:  Jesus, Head of the Church, teach me what You mean by "Church."

Promise:  "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or be attentive to the one and despise the other. You cannot give yourself to God and money." —Lk 16:13

Praise:  Juan served his parish faithfully as a volunteer sacristan for sixty-five years, giving the Lord some twenty-five hours each week preparing for liturgies and parish functions. "Happy that servant whom his Master discovers at work on His return!" (Mt 24:46)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 10, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 16, 1999