"God has put us apostles at the end of the line." —1 Corinthians 4:9
Jesus' apostles were not always respected. Sometimes, they were "like men doomed to die in the arena" (1 Cor 4:9). They became "a spectacle to the universe, to angels and men alike" (1 Cor 4:9). They were "fools on Christ's account" (1 Cor 4:10), "the world's refuse, the scum of all" (1 Cor 4:13).
The bishops are the successors of the apostles. Some of them, especially the Pope, are also despised by the world, especially by some "Catholics." When the bishops oppose abortion and artificial contraception, they are dismissed as fools. When they warn nations of the immorality of embargoes, unbridled capitalism, and the use of the death penalty in developed countries, they are ignored. When they call us to sexual purity, they are portrayed as spectacles by the secular humanistic media.
No matter how much the world and some members of the Church hate the Church and her leaders, Jesus loves the Church (Eph 5:25) and her bishops. His disciples must do the same. Jesus, referring to the leaders of the Church, commanded: "He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you, rejects Me. And he who rejects Me, rejects Him Who sent Me" (Lk 10:16). Joyfully submit to the authority of the Church.
Prayer: Father, I submit to the authority of the Church because of my fear of You (Eph 5:21).
Promise: "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth." —Ps 145:18
Praise: St. Peter Claver inspired those degraded by their slave masters to have a sense of their dignity as people redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, March 8, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 9, 2000