docility or infidelity?
"As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them." —Acts 19:6
Jesus' disciples announced: "We do indeed believe You came from God" (Jn 16:30). Jesus responded that they were self-deceived about their faith in Him, for they would soon abandon Him (Jn 16:31-32). Jesus' disciples did not take Him seriously and abandoned Him that same night.
Paul told some of John's disciples that they were disciples of the wrong person. They needed to be disciples of Jesus, Whose forerunner John had been. John's disciples could have reacted defensively to this criticism, but instead were docile. "They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak in tongues and utter prophecies" (Acts 19:5-6).
When we are docile enough to admit our self-deceptions, inadequacies, and mistakes, we can receive the Holy Spirit in power. When we are docile enough to accept correction for our sins, we can be forgiven and then receive the Holy Spirit in fullness. The Lord resists the proud, and He favors the humble and the docile with the graces of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Pt 5:5).
On this fourth day of the Pentecost novena, accept God's grace to become more and more docile to the Lord. Otherwise, expect to be more and more unfaithful to Him.
Prayer: Father, make me willing to hear anything from You.
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: Sts. Marcellinus and Peter were docile to the Spirit and were open enough to preach the Good News to their jailer.
Reference: (Is God calling you to "come away for awhile" with Jesus in our Discipleship Retreats? Be immersed in His sacraments, His Word, and Christian community. For information or to register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-587-5464.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002