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Monday, May 25, 1998

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Pentecost Novena - Day 4
Venerable Bede
Pope St. Gregory VII
St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Acts 19:1-8
Psalm 68:2-7
John 16:29-33

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unquestionable faith

"Do you really believe?" —John 16:31

Twelve men of Ephesus claimed to be believers (see Acts 19:2). Paul questioned this because they didn't seem to have received the Holy Spirit. As it turned out, they weren't believers in Jesus but in John the Baptizer. Thereupon, Paul explained to them about Jesus, baptized them, and laid hands on them (Acts 19:5-6). "The Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies" (Acts 19:6). Then there was no question that they were believers in Jesus.

Jesus' disciples said they believed that Jesus came from God (Jn 16:30). Jesus questioned this because He knew they would soon be scattered, leaving Him quite alone (Jn 16:31-32). We too are scattered and shattered into thousands of denominations and divisions. Instead of praying, receiving Communion, reading the Bible, or being with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we leave Jesus alone. This makes our faith questionable.

Through this Pentecost novena, let us receive the Holy Spirit of unity (see Eph 4:3) and of power. Then Jesus will not have to question our faith. Then He can say to us: "You have great faith!" (Mt 15:28)

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, produce in me the fruit of faith (Gal 5:22). May my faith — not my lack of faith — evoke questions from those who know me.

Promise:  "I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world." —Jn 16:33

Praise:  Pope Gregory's last recorded words were: "I have loved justice and hated iniquity...therefore, I die in exile" (see Ps 101).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflets, Seek Prophecy, and Speaking in Tongues.)

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