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Fr. Bob at pulpit during Easter Vigil

Affirmation: It is not an Option

The letter to the Hebrews says: "Encourage one another daily." (Hebrews 3:13) It seems the Lord has made us in such a way that we need to be told, on a fairly regular basis, that we're OK.

It goes almost without saying that those who are trying to live out their lives as brothers will have to get involved in bringing out the best in one another. Words of encouragement are in order. It is called affirmation. 

"I have to be convinced that those who are closest to me will love me for who I am, and not just for what I do. I have to know that, despite my mistakes, I am treasured. I must be sure that, my weaknesses notwithstanding, I have people around me who will stay around. When I mess up, I have to be confident that, after I confess my wrongdoing and resolve to make amends, all will be forgiven and forgotten. And even in the midst of my folly or transgression, I have to know that the love my brethren have for me will not grow cold, no matter what." 

It's a rather tall order for a community. And yet, it is God's design. And it is something with which he will gift a body of brothers/sisters, provided each one will make the decision to love and to forgive one another. 

This is a real need, not just a psychological conclusion. This is the way God has made us. We are meant to rely on one another. Brotherly support is not an option, especially for those who take on ministry within the Church. It is a necessity, a daily one at that. 

The word of God is abundantly clear. "Let us make it our aim... to strengthen one another," St. Paul says. (Romans 14:19) In fact, he says it again, "With perfect humility, meekness, and patience, bear with one another lovingly." (Ephesians 4:2) And again, "be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving." (Ephesians 4:32) And yet again, "Comfort and upbuild one another." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

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