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Sunday, April 7, 2013

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Second Sunday of Easter
Mercy Sunday

Acts 5:12-16
Revelation 1:9-13, 17-19
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
John 20:19-31

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rise to the occasion

"Thomas said in response, 'My Lord and my God!' " —John 20:28

Because Jesus is God, Jesus is risen (see Rm 1:4). Only God has power over death (Jn 5:21, 26).

Because Jesus is God, Jesus is Lord. Only God has the right to demand the constant worship and total obedience due to the Lord.

Because Jesus is God and risen Lord, none of us is the lord of our own life. "While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants. Both in life and in death we are the Lord's" (Rm 14:8). We "live no longer" for ourselves, "but for Him" (2 Cor 5:15). The life we now live is not our own, "but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, Who loved [us] and gave Himself" for us (Gal 2:20).

It is not right to believe in Jesus' resurrection without dethroning ourselves and enthroning Him as Lord God. It is not right to believe in His resurrection without witnessing for Jesus in word and in a radically surrendered lifestyle. It is not right to say we believe in His resurrection and yet be locked up by fear like the apostles or by doubt like Thomas (Jn 20:19ff). It is right to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22) and proclaim Jesus as risen Lord and God (1 Cor 12:3).

Prayer:  Father, may I confess with my "lips that Jesus is Lord" and believe in my "heart that" You "raised Him from the dead" (Rm 10:9).

Promise:  "Crowds from the towns around Jerusalem would gather, too, bringing their sick and those who were troubled by unclean spirits, all of whom were cured." —Acts 5:16

Praise:  Praise Jesus, "the First and the Last and the One Who lives" (Rv 1:18). Praise Jesus forever and ever!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God or on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012

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