“GOD RAISED THIS JESUS, OF THIS WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.” ACTS 2:14, 22-33
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
“You who are children of Israel, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.
My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit
that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear.” Acts 2:14, 22-33
The Acts of the Apostles gives us the greatest witness to the risen Christ in the Easter season. Today, Peter shares with the Jews what the prophet David foretold, “he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses.” In order to be a saint (enter heaven to be with our loving Father forever) we must believe Jesus resurrected. We say it in our creed every Sunday and begin every rosary with it. Many people may stop reading the Gospels, fasting, striving to be holy now that Lent is over.
What Christ did for us does not stop after Lent and Easter, but it is to be lived daily through our baptismal vows. This is a great way to check whether Christ is a part of your life or the center of your life. What can you do to change it? Make prayer a habit. Wake each day and read the Gospel, say the “Our Father” and think about what it means, say the “Morning Offering”, and sit in silence and ask God to speak to you. Go to daily Mass once a week or more. Go to confession more often. Don’t let a day go by without saying your rosary. Think of little ways in your home to spend more time with people and less time with screens. Sign up to do stewardship at your parish.
Most importantly, Jesus wants to be your friend. We can develop this friendship by reading the Bible every day, sitting in silence, and reflecting/writing about it. We cannot worship something we do not know and if God gave us an intellect to know Him why are we not reading spiritual books and the Bible every day. Be aware of the Devil who tries to divide, Christ unites. We are constantly distracted, take time to sit in silence and think, God will put things back into perspective. Slow down and remind yourself each day what is most important. The 4 final things are death, judgment, heaven and hell. What we do with the time God blesses us with is our choice.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day. MT 28:8-15
When we approach God today are we “fearful yet overjoyed”? The next time we enter a Catholic Church or Adoration chapel, remember God is truly present. We are so distracted that this takes training of our minds with God’s grace to actually accomplish it. It is difficult, but achievable. We must start by reading a book about the Eucharist. Jesus is still sacrificing for us today staying hidden beneath the bread and wine, so that we may have him with us. When we begin to gain knowledge and understanding that God is truly present, we will never want to leave the church or chapel. Everything will change.
Where do you go when you are struggling with sin? Where do you go when you have great suffering in your life? Jesus is here present to be with you in your struggle. This is why He came to die and remain with us. He wants to have a personal relationship with you. Will you let Him? It is much tougher than most people think. We have to change and that is hard. We have to give up our will/control. Peter Kreeft says, “It’s harder to die to self than to die our physical death.” We want to be in control. How many times does Jesus ask us to trust Him. We are made by God to be back with Him, but that requires great sacrifice.
The first step is to know Him, then we must make a decision if we want to follow Him. Deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him. I hope you learned something on how to deny yourself this Lent and will continue to remind yourself that you can control yourself. We do not have to give into our desires. I hope you continue to fast each Friday and stop what you are doing to thank Jesus for dying on the cross for us. Stations of the cross can be said any time not just during Lent. Most importantly, what is the message from all of this? God’s love is more powerful than anything in the universe. Are you accepting it or rejecting it?
Finally, have you ever paid someone or manipulated someone into lying for something bad we did? If we have power over people, how do we use it? While Jesus was being scourged at the pillar over 50 times, he was praying for those who were hitting Him. Jesus was completely innocent and was charged with death. Most importantly, Jesus always wins. May our Lenten journey, the Passion of Jesus, and the historical facts (eyewitnesses) of the early church (Acts of the Apostles) teach us something about our relationship with God and how much he loves us. What will we do in return each day to repay the love Christ has for us?
Today’s challenge: Fight the urge to stop drawing yourself closer to Christ now that Lent is over and allowing distraction to rule your life. Don’t allow your joy to be stolen by your desires or the Devil’s temptations, keep fasting. Ask God to open your heart and mind to His Truths and allow Him to be the King of your universe!
Be a servant, Become a saint!