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Thursday, April 11, 2002

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St. Stanislaus

Acts 5:27-33
Psalm 34
John 3:31-36

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earth to heaven

"The One Who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth is earthly, and he speaks on an earthly plane." —John 3:31

Jesus repeatedly made the distinction between the "above" and the "below," that is, the "heavenly" and the "earthly." Jesus said: "You belong to what is below; I belong to what is above. You belong to this world — a world which cannot hold Me. That is why I said you would die in your sins" (Jn 8:23-24). We must receive Jesus' gift of a new nature and belong to what is above, or we will die in sin and be in hell forever. Paul taught about our baptized life: "Since you have been raised up in company with Christ, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms where Christ is seated at God's right hand. Be intent on things above rather than on things of earth" (Col 3:1-2).

Jesus questioned: "If you do not believe when I tell you about earthly things, how are you to believe when I tell you about those of heaven?" (Jn 3:12) Before we deeply believe in our heavenly Father (Mt 6:9), the Bread of heaven (Jn 6:41ff), and life in heaven, we must believe what Jesus has taught us about living our lives on earth. For example, serving the poor, forgiving our enemies, living a lifestyle of justice, witnessing for Jesus, and living in Christian community are all things which are done on earth. When we believe and live Jesus' "earthly" commands, we are laying a foundation to believe the things of heaven.

To be and believe "heavenly," we must live and believe our Baptisms. We renewed our baptismal promises on the first day of the Easter season. Renew them again today with greater faith. Have a heavenly Easter.

Prayer:  Father, help me cherish every moment of the fifty days of Easter.

Promise:  "We testify to this. So too does the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those that obey Him." —Acts 5:32

Praise:  St. Stanislaus cared lovingly for his diocese, including his own brother, the king, who had him murdered.

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