the priority of baptismal brotherhood and sisterhood
"As regards brotherly love, there is no need for me to write you. God Himself has taught you to love one another, and this you are doing with respect to all the brothers." —1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
When most people think of love, they think of loving their spouses, children, neighbors, friends, or even their enemies. However, Jesus, Who became incarnate and made Himself our Brother (see Heb 2:11), puts a great emphasis on loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, God Himself taught the Thessalonian Christians to love their brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Thes 4:9). The Lord continues to teach us brotherly and sisterly love. Moreover, Jesus has such high standards for loving our Christian brothers and sisters that He:
- insists we make "even greater progress" in brotherly and sisterly love (1 Thes 4:10),
- will judge us on Judgment Day on how we have served our needy brothers and sisters (Mt 25:40), and
- even commands us to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Jn 3:16).
"One who has no love for the brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. The commandment we have from Him is this: whoever loves God must also love his brother" (1 Jn 4:20-21). Therefore, love your brothers and sisters in Christ. Form small Christian communities to live to the maximum our baptismal brotherhood and sisterhood.
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me about the priority of brotherly and sisterly love.
Promise: "Well done! You are an industrious and reliable servant. Since you were dependable in a small matter, I will put you in charge of larger affairs." Mt 25:21
Praise: Joan celebrates her own Baptismal anniversary and those of others.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 15, 2019
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