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Tuesday, May 23, 2000

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Acts 14:19-28
Psalm 145
John 14:27-31

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opening the door of faith

"They called the congregation together and related all that God had helped them accomplish, and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles." —Acts 14:27

Because God is Love (1 Jn 4:16), He wants all people to be saved (1 Tm 2:4). Because all people are naturally alienated from God, we all need God to do something extreme to open the door of faith and break through our resistance to His saving grace. God even became a human being and let the devil kill Him. Jesus did this to show us His love for and obedience to the Father. Jesus said: "The prince of this world is at hand. He has no hold on Me, but the world must know that I love the Father and do as the Father has commanded Me" (Jn 14:30-31). Jesus led us through His crucifixion and death to love and obey God the Father and to accept Jesus as our Savior.

The Lord wants so much for all to be saved. Yet so many are so resistant that the Lord sends the members of His body to be persecuted and crucified with Jesus (Gal 2:19). As we share in Christ's sufferings (Col 1:24), the hardest hearts and bolted doors are opened to the Lord's saving mercy. Thus, Paul and Barnabas "gave their disciples reassurances, and encouraged them to persevere in the faith with this instruction: 'We must undergo many trials if we are to enter into the reign of God' " (Acts 14:22).

Because of God's love and our fallen nature, Jesus suffered and died. If we accept God's love, we rejoice to share Christ's sufferings (1 Pt 4:13), for the cross is the key to the door of faith.

Prayer:  Father, whatever it takes, use me to lead others to salvation.

Promise:  " 'Peace' is My farewell to you, My peace is My gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful." —Jn 14:27

Praise:  Jacob continued to be warm and embracing to those who unjustly accused him.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999