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Saturday, May 18, 2002

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Pope St. John I
Pentecost Novena - Day 9

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

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the energizer bunny?

"With full assurance, he preached the reign of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ — unhindered." —Acts 28:31, our transl.

The last word of Acts of the Apostles in the Greek is translated into English "unhindered." When we decide to follow Jesus, then the devil, often with the help of the world and even ourselves, puts up roadblock after roadblock to hinder us. For example, the devil constantly tried to stop Paul's work for the Lord. Paul described it thus: "...with my many more labors and imprisonments, with far worse beatings and frequent brushes with death. Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes less one; three times I was beaten with rods; I was stoned once, shipwrecked three times; I passed a day and a night on the sea. I traveled continually, endangered by floods, robbers, my own people, the Gentiles; imperiled in the city, in the desert, at sea, by false brothers; enduring labor, hardship, many sleepless nights; in hunger and thirst and frequent fastings, in cold and nakedness. Leaving other sufferings unmentioned, there is that daily tension pressing on me, my anxiety for all the churches" (2 Cor 11:23-28).

Nevertheless, roadblocks cannot stop us when we are moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. We will serve the Lord in good times or in bad (see 2 Tm 4:2). The Lord will take even the worst conditions and work them together for the good (Rm 8:28). In the Spirit, our roadblocks become stepping stones, catapults, or even launch pads. In the Holy Spirit, we will  have strength for everything (see Phil 4:13). "In all this we are more than conquerors because of Him Who has loved us" (Rm 8:37). In the Holy Spirit, we are unstoppable. Come, Holy Spirit of unhindered invincibility!

Prayer:  Lord, may I run the race of the Christian life right into heaven.

Promise:  "The Lord is just, He loves just deeds; the upright shall see His face." —Ps 11:7

Praise:  Pope St. John I suffered imprisonment where he ultimately died for love of truth and unity.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, November 15, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 16, 2001