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Saturday, April 18, 2009

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Easter Week

Acts 4:13-21
Psalm 118
Mark 16:9-15

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alleluia forever!

"Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight for us to obey you rather than God. Surely we cannot help speaking of what we have heard and seen." —Acts 4:19-20

The Easter season begins with an eight-day celebration. This octave sets the tone for fifty days of celebration, which St. Athanasius called a "fifty-day Sunday." Easter, of course, doesn't end with Pentecost, but Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, the Easter people who will proclaim the risen Jesus forever.

God's will is to celebrate Easter forever, but this world's powers of death want to stop Easter forever. In less than a week, they have already stopped the proclamation of Jesus' resurrection for most people. Now these powers will try to silence the few voices still singing "Alleluia." Our society will pressure us "never to mention that Man's [Jesus'] name to anyone again" (Acts 4:17). At work or even at home, it is made "clear that under no circumstances" are we "to speak the name of Jesus or teach about Him" (Acts 4:18). If we break these rules of our society, we will be ridiculed and shunned.

Even so, Jesus will back up His witnesses. Jesus will take "to task for their disbelief and stubbornness" (Mk 16:14) those who have rejected our witness for Him. We must not let anything — even suffering, rejection, or persecutions — stop the celebration and proclamation of the risen Christ. Alleluia! Jesus is risen! Alleluia forever!

Prayer:  Father, by the power of the Spirit, make my witness for Jesus bolder, my praises freer, and my love deeper.

Promise:  "Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation." —Mk 16:15

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Whose victory was for now and forever! Alleluia forever!

Reference:  (Come! Adore the risen Lord at our annual 40 Hours Devotion Retreat and Family Campout, May 14-16. Praise the Lord and build community with families who love the Lord. For more information, call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008

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