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Saturday, March 29, 2008

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Easter Week

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

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amazing grace

"The questioners were amazed." —Acts 4:13

People who have met the risen Christ are amazing. "Observing the self-assurance of Peter and John, and realizing that the speakers were uneducated men of no standing, the questioners were amazed" (Acts 4:13). Almost everyone must have been amazed that the risen Jesus "first appeared to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons" (Mk 16:9). How could Peter who denied Christ three times, stand before thousands of people, preach fearlessly, and lead three thousand people to Christ at one time? Amazing! How could the persecutor Saul change into the apostle Paul? He must have met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3ff). Amazing grace!

What about Barnabas selling his farm and donating the money from the sale to the Church? (Acts 4:37) That's amazing, especially for people who think tithing is a big commitment. When Stephen was stoned to death, we can't help but be amazed that he forgave his enemies (Acts 7:60).

One of the most amazing things of all was that Gentiles, such as Cornelius and his family, received the Holy Spirit and thus were obviously included in God's kingdom (Acts 10:44). This was unthinkable to the Jews after centuries of strict separation from Gentiles. The Lord even raised up a church of Gentiles, the church of Antioch (Acts 11:20ff). Absolutely amazing! The amazing people who have met the risen Christ prove how utterly amazing is His resurrection from the dead.

Prayer:  Risen Jesus, so transform my lifestyle that others are amazed at me.

Promise:  "Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation." —Mk 16:15

Praise:  Jake was once drug-addicted and homeless. Jesus set him free from his addiction. Now Jake has found peace in a religious order.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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