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Sunday, April 7, 1996

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Acts 10:34, 37-43
Psalm 118
Colossians 3:1-4 or
1 Corinthians 5:6-8

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deep-knee bends

"He saw and believed." —John 20:8

Happy Resurrection Day! Alleluia! Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

John the apostle was the first person to believe in Jesus' resurrection (Jn 20:8), possibly because of his humility. When he arrived at Jesus' tomb before Peter did, John deferred to Peter by waiting for him and letting him enter the tomb first. Although Peter had been chosen by Jesus to be the leader of the apostles, it took humility to defer to Peter who had just recently denied Christ three times. However, John humbled himself.

While John was waiting at Jesus' tomb for Peter to arrive, the Bible says he "bent down to peer in" (Jn 20:5). This is not a trivial detail; it indicates the spiritual posture of those who believe in the risen Jesus. If we are truly to believe in Him, we must bend down, humble ourselves, and embrace the feet of the risen Jesus (Mt 28:9; see also Jn 20:17). Only those who humble themselves will be exalted by faith in the risen Christ (see Mt 23:12; Phil 2:8-9). No one goes up with the risen Lord except the one who has gone down and "bent down" in humility (see Jn 3:13).

When we renew our baptismal promises today, we are humbling ourselves. We may be humbly admitting we have wasted years of our lives by not rejecting all Satan's works and empty promises. In renewing our baptismal promises, we are submitting every detail of our lives to the Father, through Jesus, and in the Spirit. On this Easter Sunday, let us humble ourselves, renew our baptismal promises, and believe in the risen Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, may I consider it a privilege to humble myself by witnessing for the risen Jesus even when I may be rejected and persecuted.

Promise:  "Since you have been raised up in company with Christ, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms where Christ is seated at God's right hand." —Col 3:1

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus is risen! "The Stone Which the builders rejected has become the Cornerstone" (Ps 118:22). Alleluia!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995