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Wednesday, April 23, 2003

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Easter Wednesday

Acts 3:1-10
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Luke 24:13-35

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the risen word

"Beginning, then, with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted for them every passage of Scripture which referred to Him." —Luke 24:27

Jesus told His disciples to remain in His word (Jn 8:31). Jesus practiced what He preached even to the point of praying God's word while He hung dying on the cross (Mt 27:46 from Psalm 22 and Lk 23:46 from Psalm 31). Then, on both the afternoon and the evening after Jesus' resurrection, He opened the minds of His disciples and apostles to the Scriptures (Lk 24:32, 45).

The apostles gradually got the message. So Peter preached from Joel and the Psalms at the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 2:17ff). After three thousand were baptized on this first day of the Church's existence, "they devoted themselves to the apostles' instruction" (Acts 2:42), which was based on the Scriptures. No matter what, the leaders of the Church devoted themselves to "prayer and the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4). The early Church measured its growth by the spread of God's word (e.g. Acts 6:7; 12:24; 19:20).

St. Jerome, the patron of Catholic Bible studies, expressed this priority of God's word in the statement: "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133). "The Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord's Body" (Catechism, 103). Therefore, in this Easter season abide even more deeply in God's word, particularly in the Scriptures.

Prayer:  Father, through the Scriptures, purify me as my heart burns (Lk 24:32).

Promise:  "They were struck with astonishment — utterly stupefied at what had happened to him." —Acts 3:10

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who lives forever and holds "the keys of death and the nether world" (Rv 1:18). Praise You, Jesus, the Living Word.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Ignorance of Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ on audio AV 82-1 or video V-82.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002