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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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St. Catherine of Siena

Acts 8:1-8
Psalm 66
John 6:35-40

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"the day of salvation" (2 cor 6:2)

"That day saw the beginning of a great persecution of the church." —Acts 8:1

This morning you went to the funeral of a brother in Christ, a leader in your church (Acts 8:2). His name was Stephen, and he was martyred by a hysterical mob. In your grief, you find yourself on the road — a fugitive running from Stephen's murderers. Those remaining in town are being terrorized by a man named Saul, who "entered house after house, dragged men and women out, and threw them into jail" (Acts 8:3). This is a sad day — a day of violence, trauma, fear, imprisonment, separation, grief, and murder.

As you walk along, wondering if you'll be caught, you meet other travelers and residents of small country towns. Your love for Jesus wells up; the Spirit "puts words in your mouth" (see Mt 10:20); you speak from the abundance of your heart (Lk 6:45). After living through so much bad news, you still share the good news of Jesus. People with their own bad news accept God's gift of faith and believe in Jesus. Signs and wonders accompany your profession of faith (Mk 16:17). Several people are healed and set free from the evil one. "The rejoicing in that town rose to fever pitch" (Acts 8:8).

Prayer:  Father, when I experience bad news, speak the good news through me.

Promise:  "I Myself am the Bread of Life. No one who comes to Me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in Me shall ever thirst." —Jn 6:35

Praise:  In the face of difficult circumstances, St. Catherine, at age twenty, stood up boldly and convinced Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome.

Reference:  (Pentecost is coming. Prepare for a spirit-filled Pentecost by praying the Pentecost Novena. For supporting teaching, order our leaflet Pentecost Novena or on audio AV 103-1 or video V-103.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008

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