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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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Acts 8:1-8
Psalm 66:1-7
John 6:35-40

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the people of the word

"The members of the church who had been dispersed went about preaching the word." —Acts 8:4

The Jewish people loved God's Word. God called them to meditate on it day and night (Jos 1:8; Ps 1:2). They considered it more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces (Ps 119:72).

However, Christians were even more devoted to God's Word than the Jews. After Jesus spent the day of His resurrection teaching the Bible for about seven miles in the afternoon (Lk 24:27) and for several hours in the evening (Lk 24:45), the early Christians got the message that God's Word was extremely important. From the moment the Church began at Pentecost, the members of the Church devoted themselves to learning, living, and teaching God's Word (Acts 2:42). The apostles concentrated on the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4) to the point that they were repeatedly thrown in jail for their uncompromised and unstoppable proclamation of God's Word (see Acts 5:42). Stephen proclaimed God's Word so boldly and courageously that he became the first martyr (Acts 7:2ff). Philip preached the Word even as he was escaping persecution (Acts 8:4-5). Moreover, the Spirit even told Philip to run up to a stranger from Ethiopia and teach God's Word (Acts 8:29ff). The first believers ever called "Christians" were only given that name after a year of intensive Bible study (Acts 11:26). The members of the church at Beroea welcomed the Word with great enthusiasm and studied God's Word each day (Acts 17:11). The spirit of the early Church is well expressed by St. Jerome: "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133).

Prayer:  Father, may our hearts burn as the risen Jesus interprets the Scriptures for us this Easter season (see Lk 24:32).

Promise:  "No one who comes will I ever reject, because it is not to do My own will that I have come down from heaven, but to do the will of Him Who sent Me." —Jn 6:37-38

Praise:  God healed Bob of injuries sustained when he accidentally touched a high-voltage electrical wire.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2014

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