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Saturday, April 17, 1999

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Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33
John 6:16-21

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"The word of God continued to spread." —Acts 6:7

The Lord calls us to abide in His word (Jn 8:31). We are to meditate on His law and word day and night (Ps 1:2). We should "recite it by day and by night" (Jos 1:8). God's word must be the "joy and the happiness" of our hearts (Jer 15:16).

However, the world, the flesh, and the devil try to distract us from living in God's word and thereby from living God's word. We are tempted to divert our energies toward dealing with certain problems instead of continuing in the ministry of the word (see Acts 6:2). However, like the apostles, we should call on others to deal with some problems so that we don't lose our concentration on God's word (see Acts 6:4). For example, while Paul was preaching, Eutychus fell out of a third-story window and apparently died (Acts 20:9). But Paul didn't let that stop him from preaching on (Acts 20:11). Paul told Timothy to preach and teach God's word in season and out of season (2 Tm 4:2). The last words of the Acts of the Apostles are: "Paul preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ without any hindrance" (Acts 28:31, our transl). Jesus didn't let even His own death stop His ministry of the word. He rose from the dead and interpreted "every passage of Scripture which referred to Him" (Lk 24:27) and "opened (the apostles) minds to the understanding of the Scriptures" (Lk 24:45). Never let yourself be distracted from "teaching and proclaiming" God's word (Acts 5:42).

Prayer:  Father, may I never let myself be chained in ministering your unchainable word (see 2 Tm 2:9).

Promise:  "They sighted Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water. They were frightened, but He told them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.' " —Jn 6:19-20

Praise:  Jesus delivered Rico from an addiction to alcohol. Now he ministers to new Christians in the RCIA program.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998