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Saturday, April 22, 2006

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Easter Week

Acts 4:13-21
Psalm 118
Mark 16:9-15

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it's one, two, three strikes, you're out...

"Surely we cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen." —Acts 4:20

The apostles didn't believe Mary Magdalene. Then the two disciples on the road to Emmaus announced Jesus' resurrection, "but the others put no more faith in them than in Mary Magdalene" (Mk 16:13). Finally, Jesus had enough. He "was revealed to the eleven" and "took them to task for their disbelief and their stubbornness, since they had put no faith in those who had seen Him after He had been raised" (Mk 16:14).

Our job is to be witnesses of Jesus' resurrection. If others refuse and refuse again to listen to us, Jesus Himself will deal with them. If we throw the first two strikes, Jesus will take over and strike them out. For example, Peter and John witnessed to the Jewish priests on at least two occasions (Acts 4:5ff; 5:17ff). Finally, we hear that "there were many priests among those who embraced the faith" (Acts 6:7). Jesus took over from Peter and John. Also, Thomas had heard about the resurrection from the apostles and Mary Magdalene. Then Jesus made a personal appearance to change Thomas' doubt into faith (Jn 20:27).

Jesus is a great Relief Pitcher but if we don't start He doesn't have a chance. We must throw the first two pitches for Jesus the "Fireman" to do His thing. Jesus is risen! He's ready to come in if we're ready to open the Easter season by proclaiming "the good news to all creation" (Mk 16:15).

Prayer:  Risen Jesus, may I keep witnessing about You no matter what, knowing You will back me up.

Promise:  "The questioners were amazed. Then they recognized those men as having been with Jesus." —Acts 4:13

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who is the Word made flesh and Who still dwells among us!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Evangelization on audio AV 55-1 and AV 55-3 or video V-55.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005

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