the assemblies of god
"Call an assembly." —Joel 1:14
The Lord considers it a high priority for His people to assemble. He promises: "Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in their midst" (Mt 18:20). Therefore, "we should not absent ourselves from the assembly, as some do, but encourage one another; and this all the more because you see that the Day draws near" (Heb 10:25). It is so important for us to assemble that the Catholic Church was led by the Spirit to make the Sunday assembly (Sunday Mass) an obligation we must do our best to fulfill or else we commit a serious sin.
However, most Christians, including Catholics, don't believe God's revelation that our assemblies are so important. Almost half the registered Catholics in the USA don't attend Sunday Mass. Even many who do go on Sunday don't consider it that important. Therefore, they don't assemble any more than they have to — only on Sunday.
One reason our assemblies are not much appreciated is because they often lack a most important aspect of a godly assembly — repentance. Joel did not merely call an assembly; he called for repentance (Jl 1:13). Peter did the same at the very first assembly of the Church. On Pentecost afternoon, when the Church was born, there was an assembly in which three-thousand people repented and opened the door to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, assemble, repent, receive, rejoice!
Prayer: Father, let the presence of other Christians inspire me to repent.
Promise: "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is upon you." —Lk 11:20
Praise: St. John Leonardi prayed and meditated in solitude for years before becoming a priest at age thirty-two.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Secret of Confession or our tape on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 3, 2009
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