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Friday, September 9, 2005

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St. Peter Claver

1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Psalm 16
Luke 6:39-42

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"we are not worthy"

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, Who has strengthened me, that He has made me His servant and judged me faithful." —1 Timothy 1:12

At the time this is being written, it has been nearly a year since Fr. Al Lauer, the long-time author of One Bread, One Body, passed away. When the task of continuing this ministry fell to me, I was filled with an acute awareness of my own unworthiness. Nonetheless, when the Lord calls someone to a ministry or task, He provides special "graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and of the ministries within the Church" (Catechism, 2004). Our unworthiness is no excuse to not serve Him, for His grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9).

No one is worthy to serve Almighty God. Yet He Who calls us to serve Him has judged us worthy (1 Tm 1:12). So if God is for us, no one can be against us (Rm 8:31). We cannot be against ourselves either. We can no longer use the excuse that we are too weak, sinful, or limited to serve Him. Such a claim insults the power of God's grace and His ability to choose His servants. In His unique wisdom, God delights in calling those who are seemingly unqualified (1 Cor 1:26ff) and "of no standing" (Acts 4:13), such as the twelve apostles.

Servants of God, focus not on yourselves but on Jesus (Heb 3:1). "Whatever you do" for Him, "work at it with your whole being" (Col 3:23). "Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; He Whom you serve is the Lord" (Rm 12:11).

Prayer:  Father, You choose me to be Your servant! (Jn 15:16) I give You my life. May I bear much fruit for You.

Promise:  "You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in Your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever." —Ps 16:11

Praise:  For love of Jesus, St. Peter Claver served those the world treated worse than animals. He instructed and baptized over 300,000 slaves, providing them food and medicine.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2005

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