When Dishonesty Threatens Our Oneness in Christ Fri. May 6)

The word of the day is “fear.”  We may have a rosy picture of the life of the first believers who were filled with the Holy Spirit, bold in the proclamation of the Gospel, united in a common life, and fearless in the face of arrest, imprisonment, and death.  Yet, in today’s reading of Acts 5:1-11, we hear a note of sobering realism.  Luke reports the first instance of troubles in the community.  As a divine punishment for cheating and lying, a couple falls dead at the feet of the apostles.  Luke, the writer of Acts, summarizes the somber response of the faithful, “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things” (OSB 5:11).…

Safeguarding Church Order (Tues. Dec. 21)

The word of the day is “charge.”  Today, we read 1 Timothy 5:11-21, and we find that Paul is continuing to instruct the young Bishop Timothy on establishing order and harmony in his congregation.  In this passage, Paul continues to recommend policies on sensitive matters that might disrupt the congregation’s life.  Among these volatile topics are the treatment of young widows (vs. 11-15), the wages of the elders (presbyters) (vs. 17-18), accusations against elders (vs. 19), and the judgment against elders convicted of open sin (vs. 20). Today, we learn that the apostle’s instructions are not merely recommendations that can be “bent” to the leader’s own interests and purposes.  They are unbending commands for the good order of the church.…

Safeguarding Church Order (Tues, Dec. 8)

The word of the day is “charge.”  Today, we read 1 Timothy 5:11-21, and we find that St  Paul is still instructing the young Bishop Timothy on establishing order and harmony in his congregation.  In this passage, Paul continues to recommend policies on sensitive matters that might disrupt the congregation’s life.  Among these volatile topics are the treatment of young widows (vs. 11-15), the wages of the elders (presbyters) (vs. 17-18),  accusations against elders (vs. 19), and the judgment against elders convicted of open sin (vs. 20). Today, we learn that the Apostle’s instructions are not merely recommendations that can be “bent” to the leader’s own interests and purposes. They are unbending commands for the good order of the Church.…