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Saturday, March 16, 2013

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Jeremiah 11:18-20
Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12
John 7:40-53

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"I knew it because the Lord informed me; at that time You, O Lord, showed me their doings." —Jeremiah 11:18

The temple guards were so impressed by Jesus' words that they disobeyed their orders to arrest Him (Jn 7:45). They said: "No man ever spoke like that before" (Jn 7:46). The religious leaders pressured the guards to not accept Jesus and to follow the "party line." The guards gave in to the pressure.

"There were many, even among the Sanhedrin, who believed in Him; but they refused to admit it because of the Pharisees, for fear they might be ejected from the synagogue. They preferred the praise of men to the glory of God" (Jn 12:42-43). They gave in to the pressure.

The apostles were pressured to abandon Jesus. Peter was pressured to deny Him three times. They all folded under pressure (see Mk 14:50, 68ff).

After Pentecost, once again the pressure was on. This time the apostles (Acts 4:19; 5:29), Stephen (Acts 7:55ff), Philip (Acts 8:4ff), Ananias (Acts 9:13), Paul (Acts 28:31), etc., refused to crack under the pressure. The Holy Spirit made the difference.

Because we live in an anti-Christian society and a "culture of death," we Christians are often under pressure at home, work, school, and even at church. If we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit during this Lent and Easter season, we will stand up to the pressure.

Prayer:  Father, may I be "good under pressure."

Promise:  "A Shield before me is God, Who saves the upright of heart." —Ps 7:11

Praise:  Albert's witness to his grandchildren has drawn his children back to the Church.

Reference:  (To aid you in staying strong under pressure, order our booklet, Life-Changing Prayers from the Bible.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012

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