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Saturday, May 1, 2004

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St. Joseph the Worker

Acts 9:31-42
Psalm 116
John 6:60-69

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the springtime of faith

"You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe." —John 6:68-69

We pray that as we are loved by the risen Christ in these last three weeks of the Easter season, our faith will deepen. As Jesus did with the twelve apostles, He questions us whether we will believe in Him or leave Him. When Jesus says: "Do you want to leave?" (Jn 6:67), may we respond with Peter: "We have come to believe; we are convinced that You are God's Holy One" (Jn 6:69). Our culture of death and the Church in parts of the world is trapped in a crisis of faith. In this Easter season, the Lord wishes to reverse this crisis as many more come to believe in Him (see Acts 9:42). Because of this Easter season and the intercession of St. Joseph, may we be men and women of faith as never before.

"Faith, then, comes through hearing, and what is heard is the word of Christ" (Rm 10:17). On the afternoon of the day of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, He walked with two disciples for about seven miles and interpreted the Scriptures (Lk 24:27). That evening, Jesus "opened their minds to the understanding of the Scriptures" (Lk 24:45). This set the tone for the first Easter season culminating in Peter preaching God's word at the first Christian Pentecost. Thus, the Church was born "not from a destructible but from an indestructible seed, through the living and enduring word of God" (1 Pt 1:23). Thenceforth, the members of the Church "devoted themselves to the apostles' instruction" (Acts 2:42) and "prayer and the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4).

During the first Easter season, Jesus taught His disciples to abide in His word (see Jn 8:31) and to be the Church of His word and of faith. May this Easter season have the same results.

Prayer:  Father, through the ministry of St. Joseph the Worker, may I guard my faith from influences which will erode it.

Promise:  The Church "was being built up and was making steady progress in the fear of the Lord." —Acts 9:31

Praise:  St. Joseph worked with wood and prepared his Son to work out salvation on the wood of the cross.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003