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To: All

June 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions

General Intention: That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God.

Missionary Intention: That the Holy Spirit may bring forth from our communities numerous missionary vocations, willing to fully consecrate themselves to spreading the Kingdom of God.

11 posted on 06/07/2011 8:05:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 20:28-38

Speech of Farewell to the Elders of Ephesus (Continuation)

(Paul said to the elders of the church,) [28] “Take heed to yourselves and to all
the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the church of
the Lord which he obtained with his own blood. [29] I know that after my departure
fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; [30] and from among
your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disci-
ples after them. [31] Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not
cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. [32] And now I commend
you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give
you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. [33] I coveted no one’s
silver or gold or apparel. [34] You yourselves know that these hands ministered
to my necessities, and to those who were with me. [35] In all things I have shown
you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord
Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

[36] And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all. [37]
And they all wept and embraced Paul and kissed him, [38] sorrowing most of all
because of the word he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And
they brought him to the ship.


28. Using a metaphor often found in the New Testament to describe the people of
God (Ps 100:3; Is 40:11; Jer 13:17), Paul describes the Church as a flock and its
guardians or bishops (”episcopos”) as shepherds. “The Church is a sheepfold, the
sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ (Jn 10:1-10). It is also a flock, of
which God foretold that he would himself be the shepherd (cf. Is 40:11; Ex 34:11f),
and whose sheep, although watched over by human shepherds, are nevertheless
at all times led and brought to pasture by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and
prince of shepherds (cf. Jn 10:11; l Pet 5:4), who gave his life for his sheep (cf. Jn
10:11-16)” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 6).

In the early days of the Church the terms “priest” and “bishop” had not yet be-
come defined: they both refer to sacred ministers who have received the sacra-
ment of priestly Order.

The last part of the verse refers to Christ’s sacrifice: through his redeeming action,
the Church has become God’s special property. The price of Redemption was the
blood of Christ. Paul VI says that Christ, the Lamb of God, took to “himself the
sins of the world, and he died for us, nailed to the Cross, saving us by his redee-
ming blood” (”Creed of the People of God”, 12).

The Council of Trent speaks of this when it presents the Redemption as an act
of “his beloved Only-begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who...merited justification
for us by his most holy Passion on the wood of the Cross and made satisfaction
for us to God the Father” (”De Iustificatione”, 7).

30. Errors derive not only from outsiders: they are also the product of members of
the Church who abuse their position as brethren and even as pastors, leading the
people astray by taking advantage of their good will. “It is of this that John writes,
‘They went out from us, but they were not of us’ [1 Jn 2:19]” (St Bede, “Super Act
Expositio, ad loc”.).

31. “Here he shows that he actually taught them and did not proclaim the tea-
ching once only, just to ease his conscience” (Chrysostom, “Hom. on Acts”, 44).
Paul did not avoid the pastoral work which fell to him; he set an example of what
a bishop should be. “Those who rule the community must perform worthily the
tasks of government. [...] There is a danger that some who concern themselves
with others and guide them towards eternal life may ruin themselves without rea-
lizing it. Those who are in charge must work harder than others, must be humbler
than those under them, must in their own lives give an example of service, and
must regard their subjects as a deposit which God has given them in trust” (St
Gregory of Nyssa, “De Instituto Christiano”).

32. “It is not right for Christians to give such importance to human action that
they think all the laurels depend on their efforts: their expectation of reward
should be subject to the will of God” (”ibid”.).

33-35. “The teachings of the Apostle of the Gentiles [...] have key importance for
the morality and spirituality of human work. They are an important complement
to the great though discreet gospel of work that we find in the life and parables
of Christ, in what Jesus ‘did and taught’ “ (John Paul II, “Laborem Exercens”,

This saying of our Lord (v. 35) is not recorded in the Gospels.

36. For Christians every situation is suitable for prayer: “The Christian prays every-
where”, Clement of Alexandria writes, “and in every situation, whether it be when
taking a walk or in the company of friends, or while he is resting, or at the start of
some spiritual work. And when he reflects in the interior of his soul and invokes
the Father with unspeakable groanings” (”Stromata”, VII, 7).

37. They kiss Paul to show their affection for him and how moved they are. This is
not the liturgical “kiss of peace”. In the East kisses are a common expression of
friendship and good manners like handshaking in the West.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

12 posted on 06/07/2011 8:10:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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