Many of you have laid down your lives in the service of God's people. Priests, religious sisters, and religious brothers have given up money, careers, independence, marriage, and sexual relations in answer to God's call. Married couples have made supreme sacrifices for spouses and children. Those single for the Lord have fought the devil's temptations and our society's pressures, and have been pure as Jesus is pure (1 Jn 3:3).
Yet after years of self-sacrificing commitments, you look at the Church, your family, and your life and wonder if it was worth it (Is 49:4). Loud and clear, God's word to you is: "It is worth it." Growth in God's kingdom is often not immediately noticeable (Mk 4:27). Even the growth we do see begins small, like a mustard seed (Mk 4:31). Nonetheless, God is working.
"For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you" (2 Tm 1:6). "Stay with this task whether convenient or inconvenient — correcting, reproving, appealing — constantly teaching and never losing patience" (2 Tm 4:2). "Do not, then, surrender your confidence; it will have great reward. You need patience to do God's will and receive what He has promised" (Heb 10:35-36).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2007 through January 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007.