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Tuesday, April 20, 1999

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Acts 7:51—8:1
Psalm 31
John 6:30-35

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"the guilt express"

You "have become His betrayers and murderers." —Acts 7:52

The preachers in the early Church kept pounding home the point: "You killed Jesus." Stephen said that the people and elders and scribes betrayed and murdered the Just One (Acts 7:52). He said the people were "stiff-necked," "uncircumcised in heart and ears," and "always opposing the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51). Peter preached at the first Christian Pentecost: "You even made use of pagans to crucify and kill Him" (Acts 2:23). The apostles were "determined to make" the Jews, the Gentiles, and all of us "responsible for that Man's blood," that is, the blood of Jesus (Acts 5:28).

When the early Church tried to put people on a guilt trip, people sometimes went on the trip and repented. Quickly they were led from guilt to conversion and new life in the Spirit (see Acts 2:37ff). At other times, people refused to go on the guilt trip and attacked and killed the preachers and prophets who were calling them to repent (Acts 7:54ff). Sometimes people reconsidered, as did Saul, who had initially refused to go on a guilt trip. After admitting their guilt, these people became missionaries, martyrs, and great saints.

Every sinner needs a guilt trip — a short trip to repentance and Jesus. All aboard, sinners, for the "Guilt Express."

Prayer:  Father, in my sins, give me true, good, healthy guilt.

Promise:  "I Myself am the Bread of Life. No one who comes to Me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in Me shall ever thirst." —Jn 6:35

Praise:  Doctor Ron and his son responded to a call to personally evangelize the people in every home in their town.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998