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Friday, February 23, 2024

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St. Polycarp

Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-8
Matthew 5:20-26

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ministers of reconciliation (2 cor 5:18)

“If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” —Matthew 5:23-24

Does anyone have anything against you, even if you don’t have anything against them? Immediately, go and be reconciled with this person. “Lose no time” (Mt 5:25). Because you are a follower of Christ, you are a minister of reconciliation. You put out your hand first. You apologize first. You visit or call to break the silence of the “cold war.” You may have already done this and been rejected, but in imitation of Jesus, you try to reach out again and again (see Mt 18:21-22).

Jesus prays we would be one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21). This means we must constantly be forgiving one another and accepting the grace to be “of one heart and one mind” (Acts 4:32). We may even put up with injustice, and allow ourselves to be cheated (1 Cor 6:6-7). We will deny ourselves so that our actions are not an occasion of sin to others (1 Cor 8:9-13). We will accept one another as Christ accepted us, “for the glory of God” (Rm 15:7).

“May God, the Source of all patience and encouragement, enable you to live in perfect harmony with one another according to the Spirit of Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and voice you may glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rm 15:5-6).

Prayer:  Father, may we “make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force” (Eph 4:3).

Promise:  “If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die.” —Ez 18:21

Praise:  St. Polycarp was a bishop in the early church and was martyred for his faith. He died in 156 AD.


Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from February 1, 2024, through March 31, 2024. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio June 7, 2023"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.