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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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Acts 5:17-26
Psalm 34:2-9
John 3:16-21

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the jealousy of easter

"The high priest and all his supporters (that is, the party of the Sadducees), filled with jealousy, arrested the apostles." —Acts 5:17-18

When Peter and John proclaimed Jesus' resurrection, the religious leaders became filled with jealousy. They were jealous of the apostles' power in leading thousands to faith in the risen Jesus, in healing the crowds and freeing them from the evil one (see Acts 5:15-16). The religious leaders were jealous of the "new life" (Acts 5:20) the early Church was living.

Paul tried to redirect the jealousy of the religious leaders to further their salvation. He taught: "Salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous" (Rm 11:11, RSV-CE). Paul was trying to "make [his] fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them" (Rm 11:14, RSV-CE).

Are you living the risen life with such joy and power that non-believers are jealous of you? Are they jealous of the words the Spirit speaks through you? (see Mt 10:20) Are they jealous of your joy under even the worst of circumstances? (see Acts 5:41) Are non-believers jealous of the divine healings which have come to and through you? Are they jealous of the hope you have, even while living in a depressed and despairing world?

When you have what Jesus gives, people will want what you have. They will want Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, make my life free, joyous, and victorious.

Promise:  "Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life." —Jn 3:16

Praise:  After the initial joy of her conversion subsided, Rita made a commitment to follow the "narrow" road of true discipleship (Mt 7:13-14). She has led numerous people to faith in Jesus.

Reference:  (The Living in Reality retreat May 7-8 will focus on the timeless realities revealed by Christ, realities that set us free to follow Jesus into eternity. Call 937-587-5464 to register or for information.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009

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