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Monday, January 24, 2005

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St. Francis de Sales

Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
Psalm 98
Mark 3:22-30

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bridge over troubled waters

"If a kingdom is torn by civil strife, that kingdom cannot last. If a household is divided according to loyalties, that household will not survive." —Mark 3:24-25

Jesus states a common sense principle that unity is necessary for stability and victory. That's why He prays that we would be one as He and the Father are one (Jn 17:21). He sent the Holy Spirit so that in one Spirit all of us would be baptized into one body (1 Cor 12:13).

Unity is necessary for survival and success. However, most Christians don't seem to think unity that important. We give lip service to unity yet resign ourselves to hundreds of denominations and even serious divisions within denominations. We have learned to live with disunity and defeat.

Jesus is not calling us to drop out of our church and join a "non-denominational" group, which shortly becomes another denomination, another division of the already fragmented Church. How can we restore unity without destroying the little unity we have? We must keep one hand in our denomination or fellowship but extend the other to other Christians. This is demanding since our commitment is doubled. But this is the way bridges are built. Answer Jesus' prayer for unity, no matter what the sacrifice.

Prayer:  Jesus, give me Your heart for unity. May I want what You want to the degree You want it.

Promise:  "He will appear a second time not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him." —Heb 9:28

Praise:  St. Francis worked at unity by preaching God's word with gentleness, patience, understanding, and persistence.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Unity Gifts on audio AV 3A-3 or video V-3A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004