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Friday, February 6, 2009

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St. Paul Miki & Companions


Hebrews 13:1-8
Psalm 27
Mark 6:14-29

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high church and low church

"Love your fellow Christians always." —Hebrews 13:1

Think of the themes of the Sunday homilies preached in your parish this new year. Examine your parish bulletin. What's going on in your parish? List the five highest priorities in your parish, based not on the parish mission-statement but on what gets the most time, attention, and financing. Five priorities listed at the end of the letter to the Hebrews are:

  1. showing hospitality (Heb 13:2),
  2. being mindful of prisoners (Heb 13:3),
  3. honoring marriage "in every way" (Heb 13:4),
  4. being content and not loving money (Heb 13:5), and
  5. remembering and imitating our leaders (Heb 13:7).

In Hebrews, we see a church which is poor, sharing, persecuted, committed, pure, content, and obedient. Most churches today have quite different concerns. Few Christians in our churches radically live the gospel. Few marriages in our parishes are notably different from those in the world. In our materialistic society, most Christians are consumers first and Christians second. We seem to always want more possessions and pleasures. But we don't want anyone, including our pastoral leaders, telling us what to do. Our church is different from the church addressed in the letter to the Hebrews. Why?

Prayer:  Father, may my life and my church be based on the Bible.

Promise:  "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." —Heb 13:8

Praise:  St. Paul Miki and his companions were executed by crucifixion for love of Jesus. The march to their execution inspired the many who witnessed it, and is remembered through the ages.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape The Church in God's Plan on audio AV 67-3 or video V-67.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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