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Saturday, October 19, 2002

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North American Martyrs

Ephesians 1:15-23
Psalm 8
Luke 12:8-12

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"Whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven." —Luke 12:10

To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to refuse to acknowledge Jesus publicly before man (Lk 12:8-9). However, the Lord does not expect us to speak up and stand up for Him by our own power. The Holy Spirit gives us His power to witness for Jesus (see Acts 1:8; Jn 15:26-27). Therefore, if we do not share our faith and our love for Jesus, we are refusing the help of the Holy Spirit. This is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

"Do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say. The Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment all that should be said" (Lk 12:11-12). Pope Paul VI has taught: "It is the Holy Spirit Who, today just as at the beginning of the Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by Him. The Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he could not find by himself, and at the same time the Holy Spirit predisposes the soul of the hearer to be open and receptive to the Good News and to the kingdom being proclaimed"  (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 75). Because of the power and faithfulness of the Holy Spirit, there is no excuse for us not to publicly speak up for Jesus. If we permanently insist on rejecting the Holy Spirit's help, we are insulting and blaspheming the Holy Spirit. With this persistent attitude, we will not ask Him to forgive our sins. Thus, our sins are unforgivable.

The Holy Spirit has made sure that we can effectively be a witness for Jesus. Do not reject the Holy Spirit's help.

Prayer:  Father, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to me. May I never send Him away.

Promise:  "May He enlighten your innermost vision that you may know the great hope to which He has called you, the wealth of His glorious heritage to be distributed among the members of the Church, and the immeasurable scope of His power." —Eph 1:18-19

Praise:  Some North American Indian tribes mangled the hands and fingers of St. Isaac Jogues. He responded by persevering in his ministry, baptizing nearly seventy-five of them into eternal life.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, April 10, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 18, 2002