"As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies. There were in the company about twelve men in all." —Acts 19:6-7
The twelve Ephesian men so readily gave their lives to Jesus and received the Holy Spirit because they had received John's baptism of repentance (see Acts 19:3-4). At the first Christian Pentecost, Peter told the people to repent in order to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). On the evening of the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus commanded His apostles to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22). Then he delegated them to forgive sins in His name (Jn 20:23). The risen Jesus made it clear that the baptism of repentance accompanies the baptism in the Spirit (see Mk 1:4, 8).
On this fourth day of the Pentecost Novena in the year of the Great Jubilee, plan to go to Confession as soon as possible. One of the first works of the Spirit is to convict us of sin (Jn 16:8). If we respond to this grace by repenting, we open the door to an amazing series of movements of the Holy Spirit. It is both a necessity and a privilege for us to repent as deeply as possible. When even one person repents, all in heaven, including the Holy Spirit, rejoice (Lk 15:7). Repent. Give God joy. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Father, may sin lose its hold on me (see Heb 12:1).
Promise: "You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world." —Jn 16:33
Praise: St. Boniface wrote: "What we ourselves cannot bear let us bear with the help of Christ."
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999
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