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Saturday, April 24, 1999

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St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Acts 9:31-42
Psalm 116
John 6:60-69

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"one bread, one body" (1 cor 10:17)

"How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord." —Psalm 116:12-13

Many of Jesus' disciples refused to put up with or to take seriously His teaching on the Eucharist (Jn 6:60). With their faith in Jesus shaken, they murmured in protest, left Jesus' company, and went back to their old lives (Jn 6:61, 66). The eucharistic Jesus will be for us either a Stumbling-Block (Mt 11:6) surfacing our divisions, or through the Eucharist He will make us one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21).

After the first Christian Pentecost, the newborn Church devoted herself to the "breaking of bread" (Acts 2:42), that is, the Eucharist. Through the eucharistic Jesus, the Church became of one mind and one heart (Acts 4:32). Members of the early Church were ridiculed, arrested, threatened, beaten, attacked, or martyred to destroy their unity. However, they maintained their unity in the Spirit and even deepened it. "The Church was at peace. It was being built up and was making steady progress in the fear of the Lord; at the same time it enjoyed the increased consolation of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:31).

"Is not the cup of blessing we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, many though we are, are one body" (1 Cor 10:16-17). In a divided, divisive, fragmented world, may we let Jesus make us one through His eucharistic love.

Prayer:  Father, I accept Your grace to center my life on the daily Eucharist.

Promise:  "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe; we are convinced that You are God's Holy One." —Jn 6:68-69

Praise:  St. Fidelis ministered to widows, orphans, prisoners, the sick, even those in the plague-stricken Austrian army.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998