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Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 4 & 5 
        
As the Apostles take up the ministry of Jesus, they experience exactly what He experienced, opposition and arrest. But as with Jesus, there are those who hear their words and see the deeds done in the name of Jesus and believe. At the core of the Apostles’ message is their insistence that Jesus has risen. Their opponents in this scene are Sadducees, people who did not believe in resurrection from the dead for anyone. Before the court, Peter and John, ordinary men as the judges noticed, skillfully defend themselves. They speak from their experience of Jesus (“what we have seen and heard”) and are sent away unharmed (for the moment). The community of believers praise God and ask for strength to continue to speak God’s word and to be used by God to bring healing. As on Pentecost, the house shakes and the Holy Spirit fills them. Chapter 4 concludes by noting the sharing that went on between believers.

Chapter 5 tells an almost comic story of 2 disciples’ dishonesty. No one was required to give anything, but these two pretend that they have given everything; the result proves “honesty is the best policy.” The chapter continues with many people entering the community. Remember, one of the themes of Acts is the way the Holy Spirit spread and continues to spread the Word of God. As with Jesus, people bring their sick to the Apostles. But again, they are arrested and imprisoned. God “opened the doors of the prison” and frees them as God had opened the tomb and freed Jesus from death. Once more, the Apostles proclaim Jesus Christ as Risen. The consequences begin to grow; they are whipped before being released. Yet, they find joy even in their sufferings because it was for Jesus that they suffered.

Something to consider:
In prayer, remember and give thanks for a time when God freed you from some “prison” in your life.

Homework for Wednesday: Read Chapters 6 & 7

Fr. Dennis

 
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