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Friday, February 15, 2008

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Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130
Matthew 5:20-26

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ministers of reconciliation (2 cor 5:18)

"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

Does anyone have anything against you, even if you don't have anything against them? Immediately, go and be reconciled with this person. "Lose no time" (Mt 5:25). Because you are a follower of Christ, you are a minister of reconciliation. You put out your hand first. You apologize first. You visit or call to break the silence of the "cold war." You may have already done this and been rejected, but in imitation of Jesus, you try to reach out again and again.

Jesus prays we would be one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21). This means we must constantly be forgiving one another and accepting the grace to be of one heart and one mind (Acts 4:32). We will put up with injustice, and let ourselves be cheated (1 Cor 6:6-7) rather than take a Christian to court. We will even give up legitimate pleasures if they are an occasion of sin to others (1 Cor 8:9-13). We will accept one another as Christ accepted us, "for the glory of God" (Rm 15:7).

"May God, the Source of all patience and encouragement, enable you to live in perfect harmony with one another according to the Spirit of Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and voice you may glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rm 15:5-6).

Prayer:  Father, may we "make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force" (Eph 4:3).

Promise:  "If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die." —Ez 18:21

Praise:  Often when Justin feels the most spiritually dry, God uses him to spread His Word.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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