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Sunday, April 30, 2000

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Second Sunday of Easter

Acts 4:32-35
1 John 5:1-6
Psalm 118
John 20:19-31

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the road to power

"With power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus." —Acts 4:33

Pope John Paul II has called our culture a "culture of death." This seems to indicate that the new life in the risen Christ has not been widely accepted. Why have we not been effective in witnessing with power for the risen Christ?

To witness with power, we must witness both with our lips and our money and possessions. "None of them ever claimed anything as his own; rather, everything was held in common" (Acts 4:32).

However, even if we did pool our resources, we would probably make a mess of it because we don't have the unity, community, authority, submission, accountability, and stability necessary to organize and distribute wisely a large outlay of financial responsibilities. "The community of believers were of one heart and one mind" (Acts 4:32).

How can we willingly suffer the pains of growing in unity so that we can live a community life that supports and directs radical commitment and powerful witnessing for the risen Christ? We must obey the Lord's constant command: "Do not fear."

How can we overcome fear, be "of one heart and one mind," live a new, free life, and be a powerful "witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 4:32, 33). "Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear" (1 Jn 4:18).

To begin moving towards being powerful witnesses for Jesus, we need to receive His love much more deeply. This love will cover a multitude of sins (1 Pt 4:8) and motivate us to fearlessness, unity, commitment, and power (see 2 Cor 5:14).

Prayer:  Father, use every circumstance of my life, especially my death, to bear witness powerfully to Your risen Son.

Promise:  "Everyone begotten of God conquers the world, and the power that has conquered the world is this faith of ours." —1 Jn 5:4

Praise:  Praise Jesus, my Lord and my God! (Jn 20:28) He holds the keys to death and the nether world (Rv 1:18). He is risen forever!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999