Lord Jesus, the members of the early Church spoke Your word with boldness. They publicly declared that You had risen from the dead. They opened themselves as channels so that Your healing power could flow through them. They regarded the threats of the Jews as nothing; no persecution could stop them from spreading the Gospel. Even the danger of death did not deter them from their mission.
But they knew that they could not speak Your word with boldness unless You gave them the grace to be able to, so they prayed. They raised their eyes and their voices and their hearts with confidence that You would hear them and grant them everything they needed to withstand whatever hardships they might face as they proclaimed Your Gospel.
You answered their prayer, Lord. You filled them with the Holy Spirit so dramatically that the whole building shook. They would speak with boldness, for You gave then the ability. You spoke through them. You healed through them. You reached the world through them.
Lord Jesus, give us the grace and the strength to speak Your word with boldness that we, too, may be Your instruments in spreading Your Gospel and Your love to the entire world. Amen.
Tuesday – Christian Characteristics
In today's first reading, St. Peter presents some key Christian characteristics. Christians are
1. Humble. Humble people are in touch with reality. They realize that without God they are nothing at all and that everything they have and everything they are comes from Him. They rely on God completely, placing themselves in His loving care.
2. Sober. Sober people are calm and self-controlled. They do not give themselves over to the indulgence of their passions, and they keep their wits about them. They are discreet in their words and actions and take care to follow God's commands in peace.
3. Vigilant. Vigilant people are spiritually awake. They patiently wait for the Lord and watch for signs of His will. They pray, read the Scriptures, and receive the sacraments with attention and devotion, knowing that they encounter the Lord every time.
4. Steadfast. Steadfast people keep going no matter how bad things seem. They persevere through trials and temptations, praying all the while and resisting the suggestions of the enemy. They remain firm and constant in faith, hope, and love.
If Christians remain humble, sober, vigilant, and steadfast, Peter assures, then “The God of all grace Who called you to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To Him be dominion forever. Amen.” Amen indeed.
(Information about vocabulary and definitions comes from http://www.biblehub.com/.)
Wednesday – At All Times
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be ever in my mouth.”
In times of joy and excitement, I will bless the Lord.
In times of sorrow and pain, I will bless the Lord.
In times of success and victory, I will bless the Lord.
In times of fear and anxiety, I will bless the Lord.
In times of wonder and amazement, I will bless the Lord.
In times of stress and upset, I will bless the Lord.
At all times, in all places, no matter what, I will bless the Lord.
His praise shall be ever in my mouth.
May it be so. Amen.