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Friday, April 11, 2014

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St. Stanislaus

Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm 18:2-7
John 10:31-42

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love, suffering, and evangelization

"Many came to believe in him." —John 10:42

The Lord will use you to lead many to believe in Him. However, before the Lord breaks through in the lives of those you are evangelizing, the evil one will usually try to intimidate you and pressure you to shut up. For instance, before the "many" in today's Gospel reading believed in Jesus, some attempted to execute Jesus by stoning Him (Jn 10:31). Before the three-thousand believers of the first Christian Pentecost reached thousands more, Peter and John and then all the apostles were thrown in jail. Also, before these thousands of believers reached hundreds of thousands with the gospel of Jesus, many of the first Christians were persecuted and martyred.

Today, as in all Christian history, the Lord gives us the power to bear much fruit. If we will only fall to the earth and die like grains of wheat, we will bear much fruit (Jn 12:24). No matter how limited we may be or how inadequate we may feel, we will lead many to believe in Jesus if we love people enough to bear our "share of the hardship which the gospel entails" (2 Tm 1:8) and continually "carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus" (2 Cor 4:10). Love, suffer, and bear fruit abundantly (see Jn 15:5).

Prayer:  Father, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" (Tertullian). Use my life and death as Your seed.

Promise:  "He has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!" —Jer 20:13

Praise:  St. Stanislaus advised preparing for spiritual battles with innocence of heart, integrity of faith, and dedication to virtue.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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