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Saturday, May 22, 1999

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Pentecost Novena - Day 9

Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
Psalm 11
John 21:20-25

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focused following

"Jesus replied, 'How does that concern you? Your business is to follow Me.' " —John 21:22

Jesus, risen from the dead, commanded Peter again to follow Him (Jn 21:19). Then Peter turned around and noticed another disciple of Jesus. "Seeing him, Peter was prompted to ask Jesus, 'But Lord, what about him?' " (Jn 21:21) Why don't we just follow Jesus and not worry about everybody or everything else?

Moreover, the other followers of Jesus weren't focused on following Jesus either. They were busy spreading the rumor that Jesus said the beloved disciple was not going to die (Jn 21:23). How many Christians are more involved in rumors or even gossip than they are in living the Christian life?

In contrast, Paul was focused on following Jesus. Even when he was under house arrest at Rome, he wasted no time in calling together the prominent men of the Jewish community and sharing his faith in Jesus (Acts 28:17).

Then, even though Paul was disappointed that some of the Jews would not believe, he stayed focused on proclaiming the gospel. "For two full years...with full assurance, and without any hindrance whatever, he preached the reign of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 28:30, 31).

On this last day of the Pentecost novena, let us receive the Holy Spirit, put our hands to the plow, and not look back (Lk 9:62). Stay focused on following Him.

Prayer:  Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, make me a witness for Jesus every day of my life (see Acts 1:8).

Promise:  "There are still many other things that Jesus did, yet if they were written about in detail, I doubt there would be room enough in the entire world to hold the books to record them." —Jn 21:25

Praise:  Jesus delivered Carl from addictions to tobacco and alcohol. Now he receives Jesus daily in the Eucharist and devours the word of God.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998