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Thursday, April 29, 2004

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St. Catherine of Siena

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 66
John 6:44-51

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the birthplace of world evangelization

"The Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away." —Acts 8:39

Jesus' last words before He ascended into heaven were: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you; then you are to be My witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, yes, even to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Philip, the deacon and evangelist (see Acts 21:8), may have been the first person to fulfill the promise and command of Jesus to be His witness to the ends of the earth.

Philip was instrumental in reaching Ethiopia with the gospel. He did this by converting the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:35). Philip qualified for this international harvest of souls because he had first preached in Samaria (Acts 8:5). Prior to this he served the Lord and His Church as a deacon in Judea and Jerusalem. First of all, Philip was a family man. He shared the gospel of Jesus with his four daughters, who became prophetesses in the early Church (see Acts 21:9). Philip was an evangelist because he first served as a deacon. He was a deacon and evangelist because he first evangelized as a husband and father.

International evangelization begins at home. The family is the birthplace of world mission. If we are faithful in first things, the Lord will entrust us with later missions. "Bloom where you're planted." Then plant the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Prayer:  Father, make my family a "domestic church" (see Catechism, 1655ff, 1666).

Promise:  "No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him; I will raise him up on the last day." —Jn 6:44

Praise:  Although St. Catherine never had a formal education, the Holy Spirit gave her such wisdom that she became a Doctor of the Church.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries' annual Forty Hours Adoration and Family Campout will take place at the Paul Jansen Discipleship Center and Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel May 13-15, 2004. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003