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Tuesday, May 20, 1997

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St. Bernardine of Siena

Sirach 2:1-11
Psalm 37
Mark 9:30-37

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a fearful pentecost

"You who fear the Lord, wait for His mercy." —Sirach 2:7

"You who fear the Lord, trust Him" (Sir 2:8). "You who fear the Lord, hope for good things" (Sir 2:9). "Has anyone persevered in His fear and been forsaken?" (Sir 2:10)

The writer of Sirach repeatedly calls us to fear the Lord, that is, to be awed in the presence of God. We received the fear of the Lord as a gift of the Spirit when we were baptized and confirmed (see Is 11:2-3). We are called to live in the fear of the Lord and make steady progress in the fear of the Lord (Acts 9:31). If we do, our "reward will not be lost" (Sir 2:8); we will receive "lasting joy and mercy" (Sir 2:9). "Fear of the Lord is glory and splendor, gladness and a festive crown. Fear of the Lord warms the heart, giving gladness and joy and length of days. He who fears the Lord will have a happy end; even on the day of his death he will be blessed. The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord" (Sir 1:9-12).

Pray for a reverent fear to overtake you (Acts 2:43) and for great fear to come on the whole Church (Acts 5:11). Pray for our celebration of Pentecost to be steeped in the fear of the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, may I tremble at Your word (Is 66:2).

Promise:  "Trust God and He will help you; make straight your ways and hope in Him." —Sir 2:6

Praise:  Bernardine, a fabulously anointed preacher, lived a life of such obvious holiness and fruitfulness that he was canonized as a saint only six years after he died.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996