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Saturday, November 15, 2008

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St. Albert the Great

3 John 5-8
Psalm 112
Luke 18:1-8

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viva il papa!

"You demonstrate fidelity by all that you do for the brothers even though they are strangers." —3 John 5

In the third letter of John, we see a glimpse of disunity and disobedience in one of the small communities of the early Church. The elder (3 Jn 1) who wrote 3 John was possibly John's disciple and something like a bishop in the early stages of the development of that office. The elder told Diotrephes, the leader of the small community (3 Jn 9), to receive and support a band of missionaries sent by the "diocese." Possibly because of doctrinal differences, Diotrephes refused to accept the missionaries. The elder wrote to Gaius, one of the outstanding members of the community, to tell him to disregard his pastor and welcome the missionaries (3 Jn 1, 6, 10).

The point of 3 John is that we should obey our bishop rather than our pastor, if they contradict one another. Moreover, we should obey the Pope rather than our pastor and bishop, if they contradict the Pope. If we followed this rule, there would be much less confusion and greater unity in the Church. However, to do this we must know what our pastor teaches, what our bishop teaches, and most of all what the Pope teaches. Read what the Pope and bishops are teaching, learn what your pastor is teaching, then pray and obey.

Prayer:  Father, thank You for the Pope. May I obey You as You speak through him.

Promise:  Jesus told His disciples "a parable on the necessity of praying always and not losing heart." —Lk 18:1

Praise:  St. Albert, an extremely gifted intellectual, served God prodigiously for many years. Finally, his mind failed, but Albert still served the Lord meekly and in humility until he died.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape In the Church on audio AV 117-3 or video V-117.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008

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