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Monday, April 16, 2001

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Easter Monday

Acts 2:14, 22-32
Psalm 16
Matthew 28:8-15

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battle lines

"God freed Him from death's bitter pangs, however, and raised Him up again, for it was impossible that death should keep its hold on Him." —Acts 2:24

"This is the Jesus God has raised up, and we are His witnesses" (Acts 2:32). On this second day of the Easter octave and the Easter season, the newly baptized and we who are newly renewed in our Baptisms are receiving the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is giving us the power to fill the world with the good news of Jesus' resurrection. At the same time, the devil, the prince of death, is raging because hundreds of millions of Christians have publicly rejected him, his works, and his promises. The devil is marshaling those who do not believe in the risen Christ. He is manipulating for his purposes especially those baptized who are unfaithful or lukewarm. A battle over our witness for the risen Christ is once again breaking out.

While the devil's pawns are working "out their strategy" of bribes and lies (Mt 28:12ff), Christians are gathering in community to devote themselves to the apostles' instructions, the Mass, and the prayers (Acts 2:42). If we listen to our risen Lord and refuse to quench the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19), the world will be significantly transformed in this Easter season by the good news of the resurrection. "Do not be afraid! Go and carry the news" of Jesus' resurrection (Mt 28:10).

Prayer:  Father, give me love, courage, and wisdom to witness for the risen Christ.

Promise:  "Suddenly, without warning, Jesus stood before them and said, 'Peace!' " —Mt 28:9

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus! Praise Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life! (Jn 11:25) Alleluia!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order Fr. Lauer's tape on Baptism in the Spirit on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000