submission, unity, and work
"It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought not to cause God's Gentile converts any difficulties." —Acts 15:19
The early Church had been working for almost twenty years in proclaiming the Gospel and building God's kingdom. Many of them had been martyred. Many had sacrificed everything to live a new community life (see Acts 2:44ff; 4:32ff).
Finally, the devil decided to put a stop to the Church and to nullify the grace, faith, love, sacrifices, prayers, and work of the previous twenty years. He encouraged dissension from which a major controversy developed (Acts 15:2). This situation became so volatile that it was almost certain to result in the splitting, splintering, and dismantling of the Church. Then a great miracle occurred. The love and unity of the Church was maintained through the authoritative leadership of Peter, James, and the Jerusalem community and the subsequent submission by the Antioch community and other Gentile Christian communities.
Without unity, we can lose everything we've worked for. Without authority and submission, we can lose unity. Thank God for authority and submission!
Prayer: Father, may we all receive the anointed power which comes from unity (see Ps 133:1-2). St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us to be one (see Jn 17:21).
Promise: "You will live in My love if you keep My commandments, even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and live in His love." —Jn 15:10
Praise: Joseph taught Jesus the craftsmanship of working with wood in his carpenter shop. Jesus then fashioned the greatest masterpiece. Using a wooden cross at Calvary, Jesus built a new covenant between God and man.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996