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Wednesday, April 17, 2002

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Acts 8:1-8
Psalm 66
John 6:35-40

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how he made his body

"It is the will of Him Who sent Me that I should lose nothing of what He has given Me." —John 6:39

Creation, the human body, and the body of Christ, the Church, are ecological. They are composed of many parts which inter-relate in very intricate ways. Therefore, "if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy" (1 Cor 12:26).

The Lord is constantly gracing the Church so that it may be whole, that is, with its ecological harmony complete and intact. However, the devil tries to destroy or at least diminish the Church by tempting us to drop out or cut off parts of the Church's life. In today's first eucharistic reading, we read about the apostles, house-churches, the preaching of God's word, miracles, deliverances, healings, and joy in the Spirit (Acts 8:1ff). These elements and many more must be included and properly inter-related in the life of the Church, or the Church is warped. For example, without submission to the authority of the apostles' successors, that is, the bishops, house-churches tend to divide rather than build up the Church. Nevertheless, without the community life of the house-church, the Church's evangelistic zeal usually wanes; and miracles, deliverances, and healings seem to be things of the past. We need the whole Church rightly united in its many elements for a healthy, strong Church which the Lord will use to transform the world.

Prayer:  Father, may I love the Church and, like Jesus, lay down my life for her (Eph 5:25).

Promise:  "Indeed, this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day." —Jn 6:40

Praise:  Mary and James repented and stopped using contraceptives.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on The Larger Church and the Home-Based Community on audio AV 40C-1 or video V-40C.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, November 15, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 16, 2001