desperately needing the spirit?
"Do not be distressed or fearful." —John 14:27
When Jesus told His disciples not to be distressed, they didn't realize they would soon be very distressed. Likewise, when Jesus tells us not to be distressed in today's Gospel reading, we may not realize that this is to be taken personally and immediately. We think that this message is not specifically for us and is generally intended for everybody. Moreover, we may think that things are going well in our lives, and therefore we don't expect any immediate distress. However, the disciples were wrong, and we might be mistaken as well. They were on the threshold of the most distressful time of their lives. Although we may not know it, we may desperately need the Holy Spirit's help (see Jn 14:26).
Assume that two weeks from today you will need to receive a new Pentecost, or else be overwhelmed by distress. Whether or not this happens, the wisest thing is to be ready for anything by being filled with the Holy Spirit. May you desire a new Pentecost more than you want anything else. Jesus has promised: "This much have I told you while I was still with you; the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit Whom the Father will send in My name, will instruct you in everything, and remind you of all that I told you" (Jn 14:25-26). Come, Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Father, may I want the Holy Spirit in fullness more than I want to breathe. Renew my Baptism and Confirmation.
Promise: "It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too, not to lay on you any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary." —Acts 15:28
Praise: Alleluia! Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life! (Jn 11:25) Alleluia forever!
Reference: (As an aid to praying for the Holy Spirit, order our book, Praying For a New Pentecost.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997