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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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St. Catherine of Siena


Acts 4:32-37
Psalm 93:1-2, 5
John 3:7-15

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culture wars

"The community of believers were of one heart and one mind. None of them ever claimed anything as his own; rather, everything was held in common." —Acts 4:32

Jesus is praying that we would be one as He and the Father are one, so that the world will believe the Father has sent Him (Jn 17:21). To witness with power for the risen Christ, the community of believers must be "of one heart and one mind" (Acts 4:32-33). This unity must not be superficial but deep and concrete like the first Christian communities, who voluntarily shared all things in common (Acts 4:32; 2:44). For example, Barnabas sold his farm and gave the money from the sale to the Church (Acts 4:37). The love and unity in the Church's early communities was so deep that they laid down their lives for each other (1 Jn 3:16).

The secular humanistic culture we live in values independence and individualism rather than Christian community. Therefore, the communal life of the early Church may seem foreign to us. We can continue to be "blinded by the god of the present age" (2 Cor 4:4), or we can repent, believe in God's Word, and live a new life. Pope John Paul II has taught: "In a word, we can say that the cultural change which we are calling for demands from everyone the courage to adopt a new lifestyle" (The Gospel of Life, 98). Change your lifestyle. Live in Christian community. Witness with power for the risen Christ.

Prayer:  Father, I will do anything and live any way to lead people to accept risen life in Jesus.

Promise:  "The wind blows where it will. You hear the sound it makes but you do not know where it comes from, or where it goes. So it is with everyone begotten of the Spirit." —Jn 3:8

Praise:  St. Catherine's mother and father allowed the Lord to bless them with a large family. Their twenty-fourth child, Catherine, became a Doctor of the Church.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Challenge of Making Disciples in a Culture of Death, or on audio AV 97-1 and AV 97-3 or on video V-97.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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