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Saturday, May 29, 2004

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Pentecost Novena - Day 9

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

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"Paul invited the prominent men of the Jewish community to visit him." —Acts 28:17

Tomorrow is the great feast of Pentecost. The first Christian Pentecost was an international, multicultural event. People of many languages gathered to worship God. The Holy Spirit prompted the apostles to praise God publicly in other languages, and all the various groups of people understood them (Acts 2:6).

One main reason for the great power and conversions at Pentecost was that many diverse people were gathered together (Acts 2:5-6). The Holy Spirit used the first Pentecost to unite people who had been separated. Since God is the same today as at the first Pentecost (Heb 13:8), He wants to bring the same unity tomorrow.

Accordingly, God may want us to search out people who are not like us with whom to spend our Pentecost, people of a different race, religion, or ethnic group. The Spirit didn't fill people individually and then bring them together after they were already converted. Rather, diverse people were gathered first, and then the Spirit miraculously brought unity (Acts 2:11).

Jesus will lead us toward Christian unity this Pentecost. Our business is to follow Him (Jn 21:22).

Prayer:  Father, may I make every effort to build unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force (Eph 4:3).

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:  Several members of a youth group volunteered to assist in a Life in the Spirit Seminar which hosted people of varying ages and backgrounds.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.) (For a related teaching, order our tape series Life in the Spirit Seminar: four audio tapes starting with AV 8A-1 or two video tapes starting with V-8A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003