church militant or church defeated?
"They were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God's word with confidence." —Acts 4:31
The apostles were thrown into prison by the Jewish leaders for healing a crippled man and then "teaching the people and proclaiming the resurrection of the dead in the person of Jesus" (Acts 4:2). They were then threatened by the leaders to never mention the name of Jesus again (Acts 4:17) and were released. The apostles returned to the other disciples and prayed for complete assurance when they proclaimed the Word of God (Acts 4:29-30). After this prayer, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. They continued to speak God's Word with confidence (Acts 4:31).
Like the first believers in the risen Jesus, we must not be alarmed that the powerful of the world rage and conspire against us (see Acts 4:25). The Church and its members have been attacked for centuries. God in heaven simply laughs (Ps 2:4). He has eternal, almighty power. The powerful of the world wield their power for but a moment in time.
Therefore, we must pray for that same confidence, assurance, and boldness that the apostles possessed. God wants us to confidently know that if He is for us, no one can be against us (Rm 8:31). "He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 Jn 4:4, RSV-CE). We are more than conquerors in Jesus (Rm 8:37). Persevere in spreading the Word of God. We are invincible when we are rooted in Jesus and stand securely in the center of His will.
Prayer: May we stir up the Holy Spirit in the world, Lord Jesus. Raise up many teenagers and adults to accept holy, confident, and bold religious vocations and to speak God's word with confidence.
Promise: "No one can enter into God's kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit." —Jn 3:5
Praise: St. Athanasius fought the Arian heresy for over fifty years. He held firmly to the truth even after being exiled five times for his faith.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011
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