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Saturday, April 12, 2003

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Ezekiel 37:21-28
Jeremiah 31:10-13
John 11:45-57

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gather in his name

"He prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation — and not for this nation only, but to gather into one all the dispersed children of God." —John 11:51-52

The Lord promised He would gather His people from exile and "bring them back to their land" (Ez 37:21). This promise was definitively fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross "to gather into one all the dispersed children of God." By being baptized into Jesus' death and resurrection, we are gathered into the one body of Christ, the Church (1 Cor 12:13). However, when we sin, we break our baptismal covenant and become scattered and alienated. But by repentance and the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are gathered again to the Lord and His Church.

The Lord continues to do a great gathering at this Lenten time. For example, one of our readers has informed us that six members of her family were baptized or entered into full communion with the Church last Easter Vigil. Another reader is rejoicing that after she has prayed for ten years, her daughter has changed from a fallen-away Catholic to a daily communicant. A third reader is thanking the Lord that two of her adult children are going to Mass on weekdays in addition to Sundays. The Lord is gathering His people. Let us fix our eyes on Him (Heb 12:2) and be filled with hope.

Prayer:  Jesus, lifted up on the cross, in the resurrection, and enthroned at the right hand of the Father, draw all people to Yourself (Jn 12:32).

Promise:  "If we let Him go on like this, the whole world will believe in Him." —Jn 11:48

Praise:  Her parents having abandoned the Catholic faith shortly after having her baptized, Denise grew up with no faith education. The Lord gathered her back to the Church through her co-workers' urging and prayer support. She received her First Communion on the Easter Vigil.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002