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Friday, April 17, 1998

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Easter Friday

Acts 4:1-12
Psalm 118
John 21:1-14

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starting over?

"I am going out to fish." —John 21:3

Jesus told Peter to leave the fishing business and follow Him (Mt 4:19). Even after meeting the risen Christ several times, Peter denied Christ again and went back into the fishing business. Peter denied Jesus, the Light, and chose the night. "All through the night they caught nothing" (Jn 21:3). Peter was naked (Jn 21:7) and not clothed with power (Lk 24:49), righteousness (see Eph 6:14), and life in Christ (Eph 4:24). Peter chose night, nothing, and nakedness.

Jesus, in all His mercy, forgave Peter another three times and proceeded to again start from the beginning with Peter. Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him (Jn 21:15-17). Then Jesus did what He had done when He first met Peter: He commanded Peter to follow Him (Jn 21:19). A few days after this, Peter received the Holy Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost and led three thousand people to be baptized into Jesus (Acts 2:41). Peter became the first leader of the Church and a fearless witness for Jesus (see Acts 4:8ff).

Have you squandered your Christian life? Have you lost your first love? (Rv 2:4) Have you forced Jesus to start over with you? If you repent, there is hope. Even if you're starting over, the risen Lord can make you a great leader in His kingdom. Repent!

Prayer:  Lord, have mercy on me again.

Promise:  "This Jesus is 'the Stone rejected by you the builders Which has become the Cornerstone.' There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the whole world given to men by which we are to be saved." —Acts 4:11-12

Praise:  Praise You, Jesus, risen Victor over death. You have conquered sin and death and set us free. You are the Savior of the world. Alleluia!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997