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Thursday, March 26, 1998

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Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 106:19-23
John 5:31-47

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the time of decision is near

"How can you believe?" —John 5:47

In a little over two weeks, we will be asked six questions. We have been praying and fasting for about twenty-five days in preparation for answering these questions and making this greatest of all decisions. These are the most challenging and important questions we have ever been or will ever be asked. On Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, at every Mass in every Catholic Church in the world, we will be invited to renew our baptismal promises. This will mean totally giving our lives to God and living no longer for ourselves but for Him (see 2 Cor 5:15).

The key to the baptismal promises is the fifth promise and question: "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord?" Jesus is the only Way to the Father (Jn 14:6), and He is the One Who baptizes us in the Spirit (Mk 1:8). Therefore, only by making the fifth baptismal promise will we then be able to make the fourth and the sixth promises. And only by making these last three promises can we make the first three promises and reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises.

The saints (e.g. John the Baptizer) witness to Jesus as Lord and God (Jn 5:33). The works of Jesus are an even greater witness (Jn 5:36). Moreover, the Father, Who sent Jesus, witnesses to the lordship and divinity of Jesus (Jn 5:37). Also, the Scriptures testify to Jesus (Jn 5:39). Nevertheless, over four billion people do not believe in Jesus as Lord and God. What will you say when you are asked: "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord?" If you say "I do," how will you live your new life?

Prayer:  "Lord, I believe! Help my lack of faith!" (Mk 9:24, our transl.)

Promise:  "So the Lord relented in the punishment He had threatened to inflict on His people." —Ex 32:14

Praise:  John returned to the church, in a new relationship with Christ, just weeks before he died.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997