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Thursday, May 24, 2001

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Acts 18:1-8
Psalm 98
John 16:16-20

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make room for pentecost

"You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy." —John 16:20

Jesus tells us: "Whoever asks, receives; whoever seeks, finds; whoever knocks, is admitted. What father among you will give his son a snake if he asks for a fish, or hand him a scorpion if he asks for an egg? If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children good things, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Lk 11:13)

Tomorrow begins the Pentecost Novena, nine days of prayer in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The nine days of a novena have been compared to the nine months of pregnancy, and this analogy holds particularly true for the Pentecost novena. The first disciples wanted the Holy Spirit badly enough to dedicate themselves to intense, prayerful preparation (Acts 1:14). We must likewise hunger and prepare for the Spirit today.

God wants to lavish the Spirit on us this Pentecost (Ti 3:6). We can contracept the coming of the Holy Spirit in our lives by ignoring the preparation of the novena. We can begin the novena, but abort the Spirit's coming to us by deciding that the labor pains (Jn 16:21) are too much to bear. Or we can complete the novena and bring Pentecost to birth by devoting ourselves to constant prayer these next nine days (Acts 1:14).

Choose life! (Dt 30:19) To those who "wait" for the Spirit (Acts 1:4), Jesus promises: "Within a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5).

Prayer:  Father, may I be as eager for the Holy Spirit as a newborn baby is for milk (1 Pt 2:2).

Promise:  "Many of the Corinthians, too, who heard Paul believed and were baptized." —Acts 18:8

Praise:  Jesus healed Muriel of a blockage in her arteries.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.) (NOTE: In many dioceses, Ascension Thursday has been moved to Sunday to replace the Seventh Sunday of Easter.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000