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Sunday, April 29, 2018

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 9:26-31
1 John 3:18-24
Psalm 22:26-28, 30-32
John 15:1-8

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disciples who make disciples

"When [Saul] arrived back in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples there; but it turned out that they were all afraid of him. They even refused to believe that he was a disciple." —Acts 9:26

Disciples of Jesus bear fruit for the Lord, fruit that is evident to other disciples. Disciples also imitate the Lord Jesus in His character, that is, His holiness, and in His ministry, that is in bringing others to the Lord.

It's very understandable that the Jerusalem Christians did not believe that Saul of Tarsus, that is, the Apostle Paul, was a disciple. The only fruit from Saul that they had seen was fury (Acts 26:11), anger, and determined, far-reaching persecution. Some of the Jerusalem disciples possibly had loved ones who were martyred, partly through the persecution of Saul (see Acts 26:10). "Then Barnabas took [Saul] in charge and introduced him to the apostles. He explained to them how on his journey Saul had seen the Lord, Who had conversed with him" (Acts 9:27).

Barnabas' role was critically important. He had seen the mighty works for the Lord that Saul had done in Damascus. The Jerusalem Christians had not seen those works, but they did know and trust Barnabas, whom they had seen sell his property and donate the proceeds to the Church (Acts 4:37). Without Barnabas to vouch zealously for Saul, a great reconciliation might not have occurred.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, commit today to become evergreater disciples of Jesus Christ. God is glorified when you bear enduring, lasting fruit and become disciples of Jesus (Jn 15:8).

Prayer:  Jesus, I want to spend my life bringing joy to Your heart by bringing many souls to You.

Promise:  "I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who lives in Me and I in him, will produce abundantly." —Jn 15:5

Praise:  Praise You, Jesus, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2017

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