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Thursday, June 12, 2003

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2 Corinthians 3:15—4:1, 3-6
Psalm 85
Matthew 5:20-26

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"If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." —Matthew 5:23-24

Sometimes the above Scripture passage is paraphrased: "If someone has something against you, drop everything and go to be reconciled." However, this is not precise, for in this Scripture Jesus is focusing on relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ and not on relationships with people in general.

Also, Jesus teaches us that we will be judged on whether we serve "the least of the brethren" (Mt 25:40, our transl). This is often considered a command to serve the poor. But this is not precise, for Jesus is once again calling us to a higher standard regarding love for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our Western culture has become so exaggeratedly individualistic that even Christians filter out references to brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ. This may partially account for the precipitous drop in religious brothers and sisters, who are to be experts and leaders in brotherhood and sisterhood for all Christians to follow.

The source, meaning, and goal of life is love, and to love is to "lay down our lives for our brothers" and sisters in Christ (1 Jn 3:16). Make baptismal brotherhood and sisterhood the priority for you as it is for Christ.

Prayer:  Father, may I love the brothers and sisters I can see so as to love You, Whom I cannot see (1 Jn 4:20).

Promise:  "Even now, when Moses is read a veil covers their understanding. 'But whenever he turns to the Lord, the veil will be removed.' " —2 Cor 3:15-16

Praise:  Peter turned aside from living in the world and became Brother Peter.

Reference:  (Are you called to learn more about the religious community of brothers called the Brothers and Fathers of Pentecost? Call 513-665-4333 for more information.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002