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Saturday, April 21, 2007

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St. Anselm

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

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"The word of God continued to spread, while at the same time the number of the disciples in Jerusalem enormously increased." —Acts 6:7

How many new converts entered your church this Easter? Did the number of disciples enormously increase? Very few churches in the USA would be able to make this claim: "Day by day the Lord added to their number" (Acts 2:47). Why don't we see this today in our country? Why does it happen in Africa, China, Russia, Korea, and the Philippines, but not here?

First of all, the early Church was committed to spreading the word of God. The apostles called forth deacons and stepped back from administrative duties "to concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4). How many of our priests and ministers spend most of their time in prayer and the ministry of the word?

Secondly, the early Church was committed to spreading the word of God. They filled Jerusalem and the world with the name of Jesus (Acts 5:28ff). They sowed bountifully and reaped bountifully (2 Cor 9:6).

Finally, the early Church was committed to spreading the word of God. They proclaimed Jesus boldly, risked their lives, and even died to spread the gospel. They considered it a privilege to be martyred for Jesus (Phil 1:29). When we seriously sow the seed of God's word, we'll reap a harvest of new disciples.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I want people to be saved as much as You do.

Promise:  "They were frightened, but He told them, 'It is I; do not be afraid.' They wanted to take Him into the boat, but suddenly it came aground on the shore they had been approaching." —Jn 6:19-21

Praise:  St. Anselm prayed: "Let me at least make some progress every day, until at last that knowledge, love and joy [in You] come to me."

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006

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