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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

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Sts. Nereus & Achilleus
St. Pancras

Acts 15:1-6
Psalm 122
John 15:1-8

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singing in the reign

"Live on in Me, as I do in you." —John 15:4

Great people in God's kingdom are good at looking up. They have a sense of transcendence. They set their "heart on what pertains to higher realms where Christ is seated at God's right hand" (Col 3:1). They look to the mountains from which their help comes (Ps 121:1). They have their eyes fixed on Jesus enthroned in heaven at the right hand of God the Father (see Heb 12:2; Acts 7:56). They "walk on the waters" of their everyday problems. For example, Paul and Barnabas, after an explosive debate with Judean Christians, were not so preoccupied with the dissent that they neglected to spread the good news of the conversions of some of the Gentiles. Thereby, they brought "great joy among the brothers" (Acts 15:3).

When you're hurt, rejected, or insulted, can you forgive, praise God, evangelize, laugh, or poke fun at yourself? Do you notice that sometimes when we're most serious, we're most selfish? No matter how upset we are, we should not let circumstances push God into the background of our consciousness. The Lord should always be in the foreground, and everything else dwarfed in comparison to Him and His total victory through His cross and resurrection. We Christians must never let ourselves be interrupted and distracted as we contemplate the face of Jesus. In all our troubles, "we are more than conquerors because of Him Who has loved us" (Rm 8:37). Because Jesus is forever seated on His throne as the Lord of lords and the King of kings, how can we keep from singing, praising, rejoicing, and smiling?

Prayer:  Father, may I recognize You as the main Figure in every picture.

Promise:  "I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who lives in Me and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from Me you can do nothing." —Jn 15:5

Praise:  St. Nereus, an elite Roman soldier, converted to faith in Jesus and was eventually beheaded as a martyr.

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