The religious and secular authorities tried to stop the first witnesses of Jesus' resurrection from spreading the good news (Mt 28:12ff). Likewise, after this first week of the Easter season, threats may be leveled against us to make us shut up about the risen Christ (see Acts 4:29). Satan couldn't keep Jesus in the tomb, but he can try to put us in there and thus bury the message of the resurrection.
Under the pressure of these threats, we should do what Peter and John did in similar circumstances. We must gather with other witnesses of the risen Christ and pray: Lord, "grant to Your servants, even as they speak Your words, complete assurance by stretching forth Your hand in cures and signs and wonders to be worked in the name of Jesus, Your holy Servant" (Acts 4:29-30).
As we continue to speak God's words and witness for the risen Jesus, we will see God answer this prayer. The place where we pray may shake (Acts 4:31). Better than that, the people we are witnessing to may shake, as happened at the first Pentecost (Acts 2:37). They will repent, give their lives to Jesus, and be filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:38). We also will be filled anew with the Spirit (Acts 4:31). Because of our prayer, the threats of those opposing Christ will be drowned in the praises and proclamations of countless new witnesses for the risen Christ.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2007 through May 31, 2007.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006.