Praise God from whom all good things come, praise him all creatures here below,Give Glory to God
for all He has done for us, Let us Praise God now and always. The Infinite mercy and love of God is
for All His children here on Earth regardless of their race, social or political or sexual orientation.
This Week's Reflection
12th Ordinary Time Sunday &
Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul and The Church

June 25th By Rev. Fr. Bob Johnnene OFM
Mission Sts. Sergius and Bacchus/ Franciscans of Mercy
An All Inclusive and Welcoming Old Catholic Parish and Ministry
Of the Reformed Catholic Church
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Have you ever felt afraid, unwanted and rejected?  We all have at one time or another.
This week’s Gospel tells us: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can
destroy both soul and body in Gahanna”.  Who is that? It is Satan who uses fear, rejection and the sense that you are alone to turn you
against God.   
There are some groups of people who have experienced some of the worst form of rejection from people because of how God created
them. I am talking about the GLBT community, the handicapped, and people of color and immigrants to our country.
The pain is even greater when the people who reject you are your parents, relatives and friends. What we must remember is that even
Christ was rejected by both family, and neighbors.
I myself, have experienced rejection from family and friends because I disagree with the way churches have treated the children of God
because God created them with a same sex attraction.  
We must remember that we are never completely alone. Holy Scripture has many passages that affirm that. My personal favorite is;
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
Today’s Gospel also explains that God considers each of His children far more precious than sparrows whom God protects and is
completely aware of their existence with these words; “So do not be afraid; you are worth more than sparrows.  Everyone who
acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my Heavenly Father”.
We also must remember that to trust completely in, and follow Christ faithfully is to experience rejection by those who often feel they
are superior because of a misguided belief they know God’s will better than God does Himself.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was rejected by the chief priests of His religion and eventually sentenced to die because they
feared that His teachings would undermine the faith. Christ, as we know, became the foundation stone of all Christian Religions.
“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Matthew 21:42) (
Mark 12:10)
If you live your life completely and faithfully as Christ instructed us you will experience rejection because what Christ taught is contrary
to the popular conception of our society.
Never be discouraged and feel that God does not love you, He does.   
This coming Thursday we will be celebrating the Feast Honoring Saints Peter & Paul.
Peter & Paul and all the apostles took this teaching of Christ too heart and proclaimed the Good news of Salvation, the teachings of
Jesus Christ to all who would listen which led to the establishment of The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.
At the age of 30 Our Lord Jesus Christ began to teach a small group of followers.
Among the first followers was a fisherman named Peter who, since he was among the oldest of the first to be called to Christ, was given
the kind of respect by the others that their society called for and is considered the head of the church even though James, a cousin of
Christ was the actual leader of the first church in Jerusalem.
This enlarged following of Jesus was called the Church, and within three years was referred to as the Christian Church.  During this
time, the followers of Christ were rejected and persecuted by the Romans who feared any group that might threaten their power.  
Among the persecutors was a man from Tarsus by the name of Paul.  This man, Paul, would eventually do more to spread the word of
God and be instrumental in the eventual expansion of the church to the entire known world at that time.
This Thursday the universal church celebrates both these men and rightly so, but we must realize that they did not always agree and in
fact were often at great odds with each other.
One of their disagreements centered on how a person became a Follower of Christ.
Peter and the Apostles wanted all persons who were not Jewish, to first become Jewish by being circumcised.  
Fortunately, a cooler head prevailed and at Paul’s urging Peter, James and the other Apostles, who were all heads of their churches as
Cardinals are today agreed that people wanting to become followers and be Baptized did not first have to be circumcised and become a
Paul even has written in his letter to the Romans 10:12 “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of
all and richly blesses all who call on him,”
The church continued to grow and strength despite the attempts to annihilate it, for the nearly 300 years that followed, the members of
this Church remained together under the guidance of bishops that had been appointed by the first apostles and their immediate
successors, but they had to keep their worship of God hidden from the Roman authorities, praying in secret in the catacomb tombs of
major cities, and, when they were occasionally discovered by the state authorities, the public acknowledgment of their faith in Jesus
invariably resulted in their death as martyrs for Christianity.
Among these faithful Christians were the patron Saints of our ministry, Saints Sergius and Bacchus.
Today the churches of the Middle East are some of the most persecuted, because they are Christians.
The eastern Catholic Churches are all considered as Orthodox and include all the churches of the Middle East as well as the Ukraine,
Russia, Serbia, and Bulgaria as well as the western or Roman Catholic Church and the Independent and Reformed Catholic Churches
are the oldest churches of Christians in the world.
In the last few years Pope Francis has taken steps to bring the
Roman Church and the Orthodox Churches as well as the Anglican and Lutheran Churches  closer in a common bond of faith.
I have often spoken about the urgent need for all Christian churches who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and who call
themselves “Christians” need to come together and put aside all the man-made rules and regulations that have divided the One Holy
Catholic Church we profess a belief in every time we pray the Nicene and Apostles creeds.
Just turn on the news and you should become aware that the battle raging between the powers of the darkness and those who believe in
Almighty God and the teaching of Jesus Christ his beloved son is causing great strife in the world.
To suppress the forces of evil, all Christians must to join with one voice and prayer.
I close with this prayer for Christian Unity.
A Prayer To The Holy Spirit For Unity
By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD
Almighty and merciful Father, send Your Holy Spirit down upon the leaders of all Christian churches opening their minds to the way,
the truth and the light of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Guide them toward restoring and rebuilding the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church founded when the Holy Spirit descending the
Apostles that first Pentecost.
By the Holy Spirit gather all who believe Christ’s teachings together to bring about respect and dignity for all God’s children
throughout the entire world.  Inspire our world leaders to find a way to bring about a time of brotherhood in the name of God.
Through the Holy Spirit, inspire all people to become more mindful of the needs of others and more generous toward the poor, aged,
and sick.  Open the minds of all to be more tolerant of the differences and diversity created by Almighty God and to rejoice in His
creation.  Instill deep in our hearts your truth and through the Spirit guide us in our service to you. We ask this in the name of your
beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our redeemer and savior.  AMEN