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Wednesday, April 9, 2003

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Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
Daniel 3:52-56
John 8:31-42

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"Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Who sent His angel to deliver the servants that trusted in Him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God." —Daniel 3:95

If we are unwilling to die for love of the Lord, we are unable to live for the Lord. If we give in to the fear of death, the devil will enslave us our whole lives (Heb 2:15). Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we must be able to look death right in the face and say: "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55), for "death is swallowed up" (1 Cor 15:54) in the victory of Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25).

The Holy Spirit frees us from the fear of death, for the Spirit we have received is no cowardly or fearful Spirit (2 Tm 1:7). The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of love in our lives (Gal 5:22), and love is as stern as death (Sg 8:6). In fact, love is stronger than death. For example, when Jesus, Who is God and Who is Love, died on the cross, Love was stronger than death, and Jesus rose from the dead. The love of Christ impels us (see 2 Cor 5:14) to risk our lives to do God's will and to lay down our lives for the Lord and His Church (see Jn 15:13; 1 Jn 3:16).

In these last days of Lent, let us pray and fast to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit of love, fearlessness, and life. In this way, we will live in, with, and for the risen Christ forever.

Prayer:  Father, by Your grace I defy death.

Promise:  "If the Son frees you, you will really be free." —Jn 8:36

Praise:  Charles tells anyone, even strangers on the street, what the Lord has done for him.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Power in the Spirit on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)

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