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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

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Sts. Peter & Paul

Acts 12:1-11
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Psalm 34
Matthew 16:13-19

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the grace to be heroic

"No mere man has revealed this to you, but My heavenly Father." —Matthew 16:17

The early Church was a Church of martyrs. Peter, Paul, James (Acts 12:2), Stephen (Acts 7:58ff), and so many famous and nameless others gave their lives for love of Jesus. Why did they love Jesus so much? It was not because they were so great but because of God's great grace (Eph 2:8-9).

We all are inadequate to live the heroism of life in Christ, but God's grace is sufficient to make His power perfect in us in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). "Despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it, so that, as sin reigned through death, grace may reign by way of justice leading to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rm 5:20-21). We are privileged to live in the reign of grace.

However, some graces are not given to us whether we like it or not. We must decide to accept grace by faith (see Eph 2:8) and works in obedience to the Lord (see Rm 1:5; Jas 2:26). As St. Augustine said, there is grace even in deciding to accept grace. Thus, our lives in Christ are surrounded by grace.

Paul often began his letters by wishing his readers "grace and peace." If we decide to live in grace, we will be like Peter and Paul. The love from grace will lead us to become heroic missionaries and martyrs, holy, selfless, and victorious children of God. Grace to you.

Prayer:  Father, I choose the life of grace rather than a life of mediocrity.

Promise:  "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel to rescue me." —Acts 12:11

Praise:  Sts. Peter and Paul accepted God's grace and peace and led such heroic lives that history is forever changed because of it.

Reference:  (It's not too late to register for one or more of our summer Discipleship Retreats. For more information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003