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Sunday, April 27, 2003

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Second Sunday of Easter

Acts 4:32-35
1 John 5:1-6
Psalm 118
John 20:19-31

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as good a witness as i want to be

"With power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus." —Acts 4:33

Our secular humanistic society hardly notices when we Christians proclaim that Jesus is risen from the dead. Our message of the resurrection is effortlessly ignored and often militantly denied and ridiculed. We clearly lack power as witnesses for the risen Lord.

The Holy Spirit, Who is Power (Lk 24:49; Acts 1:8), will give us the power that we lack. All we need do is obey Him (Acts 5:32). Traditionally, the Holy Spirit has given us power by giving communal and economic commands. The Spirit commands us to devote ourselves to the communal life (Acts 2:42) and to accept His grace to be of one mind and heart (Acts 4:32). He commands many of us to hold things in common (Acts 4:32; 2:44). He commands not a few of us to liquidate our property and to give the proceeds to the Church (Acts 4:34ff).

How much do you believe in the risen Christ? How powerful do you want to be as His witness? Maximum power is available to you. Obey the Spirit and especially His communal and economic commands.

Prayer:  Father, I repent of making excuses for my powerlessness. May I trust You and be strengthened with every power, in accord with His glorious might (see Col 1:11).

Promise:  " 'Peace be with you,' Jesus said again. 'As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.' Then He breathed on them and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit.' " —Jn 20:21-22

Praise:  Praise Jesus risen! The tomb is empty! The stone is rolled away! "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it" (Ps 118:24).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Christian Community on audio AV 76-1, AV 76-3 or video V-76.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002