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Thursday, May 22, 2014

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St. Rita of Cascia

Acts 15:7-21
Psalm 96:1-3, 10
John 15:9-11

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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, patron of the Universal Church, 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:  St. Rita, in deference to her parents, did not become a nun but married a man who caused her nothing but grief and sorrow. St. Rita became a widow at age thirty, and eventually God enabled her to achieve her goal of becoming a religious sister.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Forgiveness and Evangelization.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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