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Thursday, August 7, 2014

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Pope St. Sixtus II
& Companions
St. Cajetan

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19
Matthew 16:13-23

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the church of jesus christ

"You are not judging by God's standards but by man's." —Matthew 16:23

Jesus founded His Church in the shadows of Caesarea Philippi, a city named after and built by the Roman emperor (Mt 16:13). In contrast, Jesus' Church had no land or buildings. It was just a few common people.

Jesus founded His Church on Simon Peter, a simple Jewish fisherman, rather than on the mighty Roman emperor or other worldly powers (Mt 16:18). Jesus implied that His Church would be victorious not by inflicting suffering and death but by sharing in His sufferings and death. Jesus paints the picture of a poor, weak, and suffering Church, at least by the world's standards.

Amazingly, this Church holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Mt 16:19). It can attack and conquer Caesarea Philippi and all Satan's strongholds (Mt 16:18). Whatever it binds or looses on earth is bound or loosed in heaven (Mt 16:19). This is the Church of Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Father, mold me and the Church according to Your plan.

Promise:  "The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah." —Jer 31:31

Praise:  Pope St. Sixtus II was pope only one year before he made the ultimate sacrifice of martyrdom for his Lord.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 19, 2014

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