Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On the Presbytery and the Bishop

From St. Ignatius of Antioch's First Epistle to the Ephesians:

"3 I do not give you orders as if I were somebody important. For even if I am a prisoner for the
Name, I have not yet reached Christian perfection. I am only beginning to be a disciple, so I address you as my fellow students. I needed your coaching in faith, encouragement, endurance, and patience. But since love forbids me to keep silent about you, I hasten to urge you to harmonize your actions with God's mind. For Jesus Christ—that life from which we can't be torn—is the Father's mind, as the bishops too, appointed the world over, reflect the mind of Jesus Christ.

4 Hence you should act in accord with the bishop's mind, as you surely do. Your presbytery, indeed, which deserves its name and is a credit to God, is as closely tied to the bishop as the strings to a harp. Wherefore your accord and harmonious love is a hymn to Jesus Christ. Yes, one and all, you should form yourselves into a choir, so that, in perfect harmony and taking your pitch from God, you may sing in unison and with one voice to the Father through Jesus Christ. Thus he will heed you, and by your good deeds he will recognize you are members of his Son. Therefore you need to abide in irreproachable unity if you really want to be God's members forever."

Sovereign Lord, look with favor upon the clergy of the Diocese of San Joaquin, driving far from us all thoughts and desires that are not in accord with your will; dress our wounds with your healing Holy Spirit that we may be re-bound to our Godly Bishop, John-David, as a Holy Instrument, through the intercessions of St. Ignatius and the blessed Ephesians and in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. AMEN.

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