the cross of community
"The names of the twelve apostles are these..." —Matthew 10:2
Jesus shared the last three years of His life with the twelve apostles. As Christians, we also are called to share our daily lives with a small community of fellow Christians. In addition to being a member of a large church community, we should commit ourselves to being brothers and sisters to a small community of Christians. We are brothers and sisters to all Christians in the world, but we can live this out practically and daily only with a few people. If we are to "love in deed and in truth and not merely talk about it" (1 Jn 3:18), we need small Christian community. If we are to live out our baptismal brotherhood and sisterhood, we need to be committed to a few brothers and sisters in Christ.
God's call to live out our lives with our own "twelve apostles" is threatening to most Christians. We suspect a Judas will be in our community, or we may even be the Judas. We don't want the pain and rejection that close-knit community will inevitably entail. Most of us have been hurt in our families and want to avoid further suffering. Nevertheless, the Lord calls us to live in small Christian communities. His will be done, not ours (see Mt 26:39).
Prayer: Father, may I take up the cross of Christian community.
Promise: "He summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind." —Mt 10:1
Praise: St. Maria forgave her murderer as Jesus forgave those who killed Him. Alexander Serenelli, Maria Goretti's murderer, attended her canonization and there gave his life completely to Jesus.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our booklet Introduction to Small Christian Communities or on audio tapes AV 76-1, AV 76-3 or video V-76.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011
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