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Wednesday, April 10, 2002

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Acts 5:17-26
Psalm 34
John 3:16-21

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over these prison walls we shall fly!

"We found the jail securely locked and the guards at their posts outside the gates, but when we opened it we found no one inside." —Acts 5:23

Listen to the guards talking outside the prison walls...

"Have you seen Jerry? That bum's been an alcoholic for twenty years! What's he doing holding down a steady job? Look, he's witnessing to his co-workers about how Jesus delivered him from the bottle. He can't do that. Let's talk some sense into him..."

"Have you seen Sally? She's been shy and meek all her life. What's she doing praying in front of the abortion clinic? She can't do that. It's making people angry. We've got to stop her..."

"Look at Father Lou! He's been a quiet priest all these years. Why is he suddenly trying to renew our parish? He must have a hidden agenda. We'd better talk to the bishop..."

The world thinks it has overcome Christians by putting them in jails called "acceptable behavior." How surprised they are when Jesus snaps the chains that bind us and sets us free in the open! (Ps 18:20) When we receive the Holy Spirit, we act in truth and come into the light to glorify God by our deeds (Jn 3:21). Since the world hates the light (Jn 3:20), they will want to throw us back into our old prisons (Acts 5:26). But Jesus has set us free, and we are free indeed! (Jn 8:36)

"So stand firm, and do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time!" (Gal 5:1) "Go out now and take your place!" (Acts 5:20)

Prayer:  Father, You so loved the world as to send Your only Son to save us (Jn 3:16). I am eternally grateful to You. I am all Yours. Use me as You will.

Promise:  "God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." —Jn 3:17

Praise:  Father Ron has a marvelous sense of humor, and he uses that gift openly to attract people to the love and warmth of Jesus.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, November 15, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 16, 2001