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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Clement, Bishop of Rome, c. 100.

Clement was, as best we can determine, the third Bishop of Rome. He is believed to be the Clement mentioned in Philippians 4:3 and he may well have known Paul and Peter personally. He was in all probability an ex-slave of the family of Titus Flavius Clemens, relatives of the Emperor Domitian. However, his fame rests primarily on a letter he wrote to the Christians in Corinth in about 95. It is usually called I Clement and has often been regarded as canonical scripture.

This beautiful epistle is an admonition to the Corinthian Christians to be patient with one another, to obey the legitimate church authorities, and to concentrate on demonstrating to each other and to the world the wonderful love of Christ. "Let each man be subject to his neighbor," wrote Clement. "Let the strong care for the weak, and let the weak respect the strong. Let the rich provide for the poor, and let the poor give thanks that God has given him one to supply his need. Let the wise man show his wisdom, not in words, but in good deeds."

Clement's verses on love are second only to those of Paul himself. Also, like Paul, he builds a strong case for obedience to church leadership and admonishes against rebellious spirits, envy, jealousy, and strife.

O God, raise up faithful witnesses today, like Clement, who will set forth the truth of your salvation. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Almighty God, you chose your servant Clement of Rome to recall the Church in Corinth to obedience and stability: Grant that your Church may be grounded and settled in your truth by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; reveal to it what is not yet known; fill up what is lacking; confirm what has already been revealed; and keep it blameless in your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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