< <  

Sunday, April 17, 2005

  > >

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:14, 36-41
1 Peter 2:20-25
Psalm 23
John 10:1-10

View Readings
Similar Reflections

the greatest event of your life

"You must reform and be baptized." —Acts 2:38

Peter, on whom "tongues as of fire" had just descended (see Acts 2:3), preached at the first Christian Pentecost. In the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter witnessed for the crucified and risen Christ. Peter invited the thousands of people who heard his message to receive the Holy Spirit by being baptized. "Those who accepted his message were baptized; some three thousand were added that day" (Acts 2:41).

Philip was sent by the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:29, 35). Then "Philip went down into the water with the eunuch and baptized him" (Acts 8:38).

Peter was sent by the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:19) to the home of the centurion, Cornelius. Peter proclaimed the forgiveness of sins through Jesus, the "Judge of the living and the dead" (Acts 10:42). Then "the Holy Spirit descended upon all" (Acts 10:44). "Peter put the question at that point: 'What can stop these people who have received the Holy Spirit, even as we have, from being baptized with water?' So he gave orders that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 10:46-48).

After the Lord freed Paul from prison through an earthquake, Paul and Silas prevented the Philippian jailer from committing suicide. Then they went to the jailer's home and "proceeded to announce the word of God to him and to everyone in his house. At that late hour of the night he took them in and...then he and his whole household were baptized" (Acts 16:32, 33).

We began the Easter season by renewing our baptismal promises. What difference has that renewal made in our lives? Baptism is the most important event of our lives. It is our entry in the life of Jesus. Live your Baptism fully.

Prayer:   Father, may I live the "radical newness" of my Baptism (Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 10).

Promise:  "I came that they might have life." —Jn 10:10

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the risen Shepherd (1 Pt 2:25). Alleluia!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.