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Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Word of Encouragement
Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.

Yesterday's verse spoke of spiritual maturity in the life of the believer. Today's verse speaks of spiritual maturity in the life of the Church. The words of today's verse come from the lips of the risen Christ himself. By these words, Jesus makes clear to his Church that revelation is an unfolding process and that it follows an orderly progression from point A to point B to point C. This is worth knowing, particularly since a crucial aspect of Catholic teaching is the idea of "development of doctrine." Some people think that is a code word for "adding new stuff to the gospel." But in fact, the Church specifically denies that anything can be added to the gospel. The difference between adding to the gospel and development of doctrine is the difference between a baby that grows extra noses and arms and a baby that grows into a man with a beard. Jesus said the same when he declared the kingdom of heaven was like a mustard seed that grows into a large plant. The plant does not look like the seed, but there is a direct continuity between the two nonetheless. The Church started as a mustard seed. But there is nothing strange about it growing into a plant. God gives the increase. Today, thank God that his Church has grown to include you.

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