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Saturday, May 2, 2009

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St. Athanasius

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

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raise the dead

"Peter first made everyone go outside; then he knelt down and prayed. Turning to the dead body, he said, 'Tabitha, stand up.' She opened her eyes, then looked at Peter and sat up." —Acts 9:40

The resurrection is not only a past and future event but also a present happening. After Jesus' resurrection, the early Church saw people raised from the dead. For example, Peter raised Tabitha from the dead in Joppa (Acts 9:40). Paul also raised the dead (Acts 20:9-12) and may have been raised from the dead himself (Acts 14:19-20). The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that "women received back their dead through resurrection" (Heb 11:35).

We should expect this because Jesus promised that those who believed in Him would do greater works than He did (Jn 14:12). He even commanded us to raise the dead (Mt 10:8). Most dead people should stay dead and go right to the merciful arms of the Lord, but a few should be raised from the dead. We should at least be open to God using us in this way on some occasions. We must not automatically rule out something the Lord has clearly called us to do.

So "cure the sick, raise the dead" (Mt 10:8). The Lord will provide the power to do what He commands us, even the power to raise the dead.

Prayer:  Lord, remove any of my preconceived notions that are not Yours. Pour out Your Spirit on us, that we may raise both the physically dead and the spiritually dead.

Promise:  "You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe; we are convinced that You are God's Holy One." —Jn 6:68-69

Praise:  As a new bishop, St. Athanasius went on retreat with Anthony of the Desert. Later, he faithfully suffered lawsuits, persecution, and misunderstanding for love of his God.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape I Believe in Miracles on audio AV 63-3 or video V-63.)

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

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