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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

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St. Athanasius

Acts 15:1-6
Psalm 122:1-5
John 15:1-8

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jesus or nothing

"Apart from Me you can do nothing." —John 15:5

Business leaders understand well the concept of cutting activities out of the business process that are not profitable. Sports coaches and athletic trainers also understand cutting out practice drills and plays which are not productive. Farmers don't waste their limited time on activities which do not increase the yield of crops, flock, or herd. So, Jesus' teaching on pruning the branches which don't bear fruit is well understood by many.

What is not as well understood in our culture is the weakness of the human will without the strength of the Lord. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (see Rm 7:18). On our own, our endurance will eventually fade. Only by remaining in Jesus can we bear fruit for Him (Jn 15:4-5). Outside of Jesus, we will ultimately wither and fade (Jn 15:6).

So often in our culture of death, secular society teaches that the human spirit will triumph, to "just do it," or taking this course will make you successful, etc. Jesus, on the other hand, states bluntly, "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5). Jesus couldn't make the message any clearer: A person either remains in Jesus or withers (Jn 15:4-6).

Prayer:  Father, may I never treat Your gracious gift of Your Son Jesus as meaning nothing (Gal 2:21). I want to spend my life as a Spirit-filled disciple.

Promise:  "Their story caused great joy among the brothers." —Acts 15:3

Praise:  St. Athanasius fought Arianism and suffered for the Faith. He fought against the denial of Jesus' divinity most of his seventy-seven years.

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

(For a teaching on Pentecost Novena, order, listen to or download our CD 103-1 or DVD 103 on our website as this novena begins May 11, 2018.)

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

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.