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Saturday, September 7, 2002

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1 Corinthians 4:9-15
Psalm 145
Luke 6:1-5

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are you undermining or loving the church?

"We have become the world's refuse, the scum of all; that is the present state of affairs." —1 Corinthians 4:13

Jesus has founded His Church on the apostles (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14), who have been put "at the end of the line, like men doomed to die in the arena" (1 Cor 4:9). Jesus has founded His Church on leaders who became "a spectacle to the universe, to angels and men alike" (1 Cor 4:9). His Church is founded on "fools on Christ's account" who "go hungry and thirsty, poorly clad, roughly treated, wandering about homeless" (1 Cor 4:10, 11). By founding His Church on such a disreputable group as the apostles, Jesus proclaims that His Church is founded on the scandal and the absurdity of the cross (see 1 Cor 1:23).

Consequently, if we refuse to take up our daily cross (see Lk 9:23) because we choose to live for self and pleasure instead of for love and service, we undermine the foundations of the Church. However, if we take up the crosses of repenting, forgiving others, being persecuted, simplifying our lives, and washing the feet of others (see Jn 13:5), we not only preserve the foundations of the Church but even restore them (see Is 58:12). Are you an enemy of the Church subtly undermining her foundations, or are you rebuilding the Church from the ground up? Take up the cross; lift up the cross; boast of (Gal 6:14) and rejoice in the cross (see Col 1:24; 1 Pt 4:13).

Prayer:  Father, make the Church much better off because of my life.

Promise:  "I am writing you in this way not to shame you but to admonish you as my beloved children." —1 Cor 4:14

Praise:  Joan gave up a lucrative job when her children were born so that she might better help lay their foundation in Christ.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape The Church in God's Plan on audio AV 67-3 or video V-67.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002