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Monday, May 4, 2009

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Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
John 10:1-10

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the gateway is the freeway

"Truly I assure you: Whoever does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a marauder." —John 10:1

The early Church was tempted to exclude those they should have included and vice versa. Many Jewish Christians in the early Church wrongly supposed that Gentiles were not included in God's kingdom. Consequently, they objected that Peter "entered the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them" (Acts 11:3). Some of the people in John's community wrongly included in their fellowship and leadership spiritual thieves and marauders. These people harmed the Church, for they came "only to steal and slaughter and destroy" (Jn 10:10).

Jesus says that He is the Criterion for inclusion or exclusion in the Church. He is the Gate (Jn 10:7). Although people turn us off and even seem a threat, we should welcome them into our church, if they are living a life of faith in Jesus. On the other hand, although certain people are very attractive to us and fun to be with, we should not let them influence us if they are not living for Jesus. Jesus is the Gate into the Church and into our lives (Jn 10:9). We should not allow pastors, politicians, superstars, TV personalities, or experts to influence the Church or us unless these people are giving glory to Jesus, for Jesus is the Gate.

Prayer:  Father, may Jesus, my Peace (Eph 2:14), guard my heart and mind (Phil 4:7).

Promise:  "I came that they might have life and have it to the full." —Jn 10:10

Praise:  Fr. Marvin, pastor of an English-speaking parish, was assigned an additional parish which had many members who only spoke Spanish. Fr. Marvin took a crash course in Spanish, and within weeks had made his Hispanic parishioners feel welcome and loved.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Hearing God, or on audio AV 45-1 or video V-45.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008

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