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Thursday, April 26, 2012

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Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 66:8-9, 16-17, 20
John 6:44-51

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the church's word

"Philip ran ahead and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He said to him, 'Do you really grasp what you are reading?' 'How can I?' the man replied." —Acts 8:30-31

Like the Ethiopian eunuch, we need the Bible. "Faith comes through hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rm 10:17, our transl.). Without the Bible, we cannot hear God very well. "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133, St. Jerome). Without the Scriptures, we will not live our Baptisms (see Acts 8:35-37) and recognize the risen Lord in the breaking of the eucharistic bread (Lk 24:31). We need the Bible to open us to repentance and renewal (see Neh 8:8-9). We need God's Word to be healed, for healing accompanies the proclamation of God's all-healing Word (Wis 16:12; Mk 16:20).

Like the Ethiopian eunuch, we need the Church, "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tm 3:15). The Lord used the Church to write the Bible. Without the Church, there would be no Bible. Without the Church, there would also be no clear understanding of and obedience to "certain passages" of the Bible which are "hard to understand" (2 Pt 3:16). Because "there is no prophecy contained in Scripture which is a personal interpretation" (2 Pt 1:20), we need the Church. Therefore, even people as intelligent as the Ethiopian eunuch need teachers like Philip sent by the Church to preach God's Word (Acts 8:31; 6:5; see also Rm 10:14-15).

If you love the Word, you will cherish the Church. If you love the Church, you will cherish her word.

Prayer:  Father, may my Easter season and entire life be a liturgy of the Word and a liturgy of the Eucharist.

Promise:  "If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world." —Jn 6:51

Praise:  Seven-year-old Dorothy prays daily for the pregnant mothers she knows, that they may have healthy children.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011

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