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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

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North American Martyrs

Ephesians 2:12-22
Psalm 85
Luke 12:35-38

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"It is He Who is our Peace, and Who made the two of us one by breaking down the barrier of hostility." —Ephesians 2:14

Why do we see all-white or all-black churches, all-poor or all-rich churches? Even though Jesus has broken down the barriers, we refuse to cross over. Jesus has not called us to be two races, two denominations, two societies, or two nations. He created "in Himself one new man from us who had been two" (Eph 2:15). "There does not exist among you Jew or Greek, slave or freeman, male or female. All are one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:28).

Since Jesus has made the two into one, we have no right to our divisions, denominations, and nations. We have no right to accept the status quo in direct contradiction and rebellion to Jesus' will. "There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope given all of you by your call. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is over all, and works through all, and is in all" (Eph 4:4-6). Jesus intends that there be one flock and one Shepherd (Jn 10:16). He prays that all may be one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21).

We have been contrary to God's will racially, denominationally, and internationally for many centuries. The great tragedy is that we have resigned ourselves to stay in this state of rebellion. If He is Lord, we must not accept anything less than unity in the Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, forgive me for living and dying in the sin of disunity.

Promise:  "It will go well with those servants whom the master finds wide-awake on his return. I tell you, he will put on an apron, seat them at table, and proceed to wait on them." —Lk 12:37

Praise:  Gabriel Lalement and John de Brebeuf prayed for the souls of their tormentors, the Iroquois Indians. In imitation of Jesus, they laid down their lives to minister to the hostile Iroquois, who eventually killed them on March 17, 1649.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004