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Thursday, May 2, 2013

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St. Athanasius

Acts 15:7-21
Psalm 96:1-3, 10
John 15:9-11

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reading and righting

"God, Who reads the hearts of men, showed His approval by granting the Holy Spirit to them just as He did to us." —Acts 15:8

It's important to learn to read. This is true not only of reading books, but especially of reading our hearts. For example, Peter thought he would give his life for Jesus, but he denied Christ three times. Peter misread his heart. We too may think we know Jesus deeply and personally, but we may be deceiving ourselves (1 Jn 1:6; 2:4). We may even be tragically surprised on Judgment Day if we've misread our hearts (see Mt 7:22-23; 25:44).

Although we must get a reading on our hearts, we don't have the power to do this ourselves. Our hearts are so deceitful that we can't read them (Jer 17:9). The Lord alone can read our hearts (Acts 15:8; 1:24). Pause for a moment and ask Him to do this right now...

After getting a reading on our hearts, we may need to ask the Sacred Heart of Jesus to purify our hearts. The Lord will use His Word to do this. It will penetrate our hearts, divide the good from the bad, and judge "the reflections and thoughts of the heart" (Heb 4:12). We will need faith in the Lord (Acts 15:9) to let Him continue this purification since it will cause something like a burning in our hearts (Lk 24:32) and even in our bones (Jer 20:9).

On the first Easter day, Jesus read and purified the hearts of two disciples. Let Him read and purify your heart this Easter season.

Prayer:  Father, may I fall into the purifying, consuming fire of Your love (see Heb 12:29).

Promise:  "All this I tell you that My joy may be yours and your joy may be complete." —Jn 15:11

Praise:  St. Athanasius almost single-handedly rescued the Church from the heresy of Arianism, which maintained that Jesus was not divine. He believed so strongly that Jesus was God that he was exiled at least six times during his life.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012

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