Acts 20:28-38, Psalm 68:29-30, 33-36, John 17:11b-19
My Beloved, Paul was truly 'Alter Christus.' In imitation of You he too spent himself for Your sake and the sake of the Gospel. He identified fully with the people of God and was truly one with them. Unity is one of the marks of the Church You founded. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to help us speak Your Word with courage and boldness. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of those who hear the Word, to receive and understand it and to be transformed by it.
Those whom You have put in charge of Your Church are reminded of their sacred duty to guard her even at the cost of their lives if required, in imitation of You who laid down Your life for her.
We have been ransomed and purified at the cost of Your sacred Blood but there is no shortage of wolves within and without the Church, wolves dressed up as sheep ready to steal, plunder and kill what is Yours. We see how truth is being corrupted by those who are called to be the guardians of truth. Many are deceived and follow the road of folly and lies to perdition.
We are called to be on our guard, to watch and pray and to be nourished by Your Word and Your Body and Blood then we will all receive the inheritance won for us by Your sacrifice. The Church and her members have a sacred mission to watch out and care for those among us that we weak. We are called to serve just as You taught us by word and example.
Psalm 68:29-30, 33-36
My Beloved, You work mightily on our behalf. All we need, You provide. The world and its rulers give Your Church respect and honor and they desire to win her goodwill. You reign from Your throne in heaven at the right hand of the Father, but You also remain with us on earth in Your Sanctuary in our churches and chapels and Your glory, majesty and power remain undimmed although we only see and perceive through the eyes of faith.
You live among Your people and Your presence among us strengthens us.
My Beloved, You assure us that the Father always hears You. In this beautiful prayer of petition made with complete trust and confidence in the Father, we believe that Your Father and ours has granted all that You ask. We see the answer to Your prayer in the Church You have established - born from Your side as Eve was born from the side of Adam. You are her Spouse and no matter how hard the gates of evil may try to prevail against her, we have Your promise, Your guarantee that it will not succeed.
Your Word is a light and a lamp to our feet and the darkness will never overcome us. Your Word is Truth and Your Name is powerful - above all others. We remain in the world but we will never belong to it for we have been marked with the indelible mark of Your Holy Spirit. We are claimed by You for the Father in the Holy Spirit. They may kill our bodies but after that can do nothing, our eternal soul and our body belongs to You alone.