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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

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Pope St. John I

Acts 16:22-34
Psalm 138
John 16:5-11

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"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." —Acts 16:31

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). We are "transformed by the renewal" of our minds (Rm 12:2). "We have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16).

For example, after Paul and Silas were arrested, stripped, flogged, and put into maximum security (Acts 16:22-24), the natural reaction would be for them to feel sorry for themselves. However, they focused on God rather than themselves, as they prayed and sang hymns into the night (Acts 16:25). Then when an earthquake made it possible for Paul and Silas to easily escape, they didn't run away, as might be expected. They didn't think this was their only chance for freedom, so they stayed in jail and converted the jailer and his family (Acts 16:28ff). When Paul and Silas were released from jail later that day, they refused to go until the Philippian magistrates personally escorted them out of jail (Acts 16:35ff). Paul and Silas were audaciously bold, supremely confident, and deeply focused on the Lord. Because they were raised with Christ through Baptism (Col 3:1), they thought "on things above rather than on things of earth" (Col 3:2).

Are you living the risen life of faith? Are your desires and thoughts new and transformed? Do you have the desires and mind of Christ? Are you living your Baptism? Live the resurrection now.

Prayer:  Father, may I abide in, reside in, live in Jesus.

Promise:  "I tell you the sober truth: it is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will never come to you, whereas if I go, I will send Him to you." —Jn 16:7

Praise:  Even though failing in health and advanced in years, Pope St. John I accepted God's call to serve as His Vicar, as Pope. His life of faith in Jesus was a sign of contradiction (Lk 2:34) to the ungodly emperor.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape series on Risen Life: four audio tapes starting with AV 4A-1 or two video tapes starting with V4-A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003