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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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Easter Week

Acts 2:36-41
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
John 20:11-18

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generation or generator?

Peter "kept urging, 'Save yourselves from this generation which has gone astray.' Those who accepted his message were baptized; some three thousand were added that day." —Acts 2:40-41

Mary Magdalene believed in the risen Jesus on the first Easter morning. The apostles, however, did not come to a life-transforming faith in the risen Christ until fifty days later. Jesus tried to give His apostles a resurrection-faith on the evening of the first Easter Sunday. He breathed on them and commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22), but they were unable to let the Spirit open them to faith in the risen Christ on Easter evening.

The apostles could not immediately receive the Holy Spirit and faith in the risen Jesus because they were afraid. They realized that to rise we must first die. Therefore, to share in Jesus' resurrection includes sharing in His sufferings and death (Phil 3:10). The apostles intuitively realized that if they believed in Jesus risen, they would be rejected and crucified by the same generation that killed Jesus Himself. The choice was either fitting into society and thereby rejecting Jesus, or believing in Jesus and thereby being rejected by their generation. This was the central issue, so when Peter witnessed for the risen Christ at Pentecost, he "kept urging, 'Save yourselves from this generation which has gone astray' " (Acts 2:40).

Will you let yourself be rejected by this generation, your peer group, your colleagues, and this secularized society? Or will you reject the grace to believe in the risen Christ?

Prayer:  Father, may I be willing to die for Your risen Son.

Promise:  "Go to My brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God!' " —Jn 20:17

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who sends His Spirit upon us all!

Reference:  (Prepare for a life-changing Pentecost on Pentecost Sunday by praying the Pentecost Novena. For supporting teaching, order our leaflet Pentecost Novena or on audio AV 103-1 or video V-103.)

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

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