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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

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Easter Week

Acts 3:1-10
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Luke 24:13-35

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giving life to a "culture of death"

"When the people saw him moving and giving praise to God, they recognized him as that beggar who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were struck with astonishment — utterly stupefied at what had happened to him." —Acts 3:9-10

Fifty days after Jesus' resurrection, about three thousand people believed that He was risen from the dead and that He would also raise from the dead those who believed in Him (Jn 6:40). The rest of the people of the world were confused and enslaved by their ignorance of the afterlife and their fear of death (Heb 2:15). How could a few thousand people reach the rest of the world with the good news of Jesus risen? We currently find ourselves in a similar situation. Today, the Lord is calling the one-and-a-half billion Christians in the world to reach four billion who do not know or believe in Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25).

In a few short years, the early Church reached millions of people with the good news of the risen Jesus. They did this by the power of the Spirit. In the Spirit, they preached the good news of Jesus. Signs, wonders, and healings accompanied their preaching (Mk 16:17-18). Sometimes the Lord first healed people to give the Church an opening for proclaiming the risen Christ (see Acts 3:11-12). Often the Lord punctuated the Church's preaching with a healing as an exclamation point.

Let's reach our "culture of death" with the message of resurrection and life. Receive the Holy Spirit! Proclaim God's word! Heal in Jesus' name (see Acts 3:6). Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, I will do anything to reach as many as possible with the good news of Jesus risen (see 1 Cor 9:19).

Promise:  "Were not our hearts burning inside us as He talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?" —Lk 24:32

Praise:  Laura, a new college graduate, took a year after her studies to spread the Good News of Christ's love by serving the poor in a foreign land.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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