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Monday, January 8, 2007

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
Psalm 104:1-4, 24-25, 27-30
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

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spirit-filled and spirit-willed

"The Holy Spirit descended on Him in visible form like a dove." —Luke 3:22

On this last day of the Christmas season, we can receive in a new way the outpouring of the Spirit. Like Jesus, we must go to our Jordan and meet our John the Baptizer. There's a person and a place that the Lord has chosen to be instrumental in lavishing His Spirit on us (Ti 3:6). Like Jesus, we will have to deny and humble ourselves to be at the right place at the right time (Mt 3:15). We will struggle interiorly to "let it be done" to us (Lk 1:38).

Let's resist our resistance to the Spirit. The Lord wants to give the Spirit much more than we want to receive Him. If we would only want the Spirit more than we want our own way! Jesus, the Baptizer in the Spirit (Mk 1:8), is so quiet and gentle, "not crying out, not shouting, not making His voice heard in the street" (Is 42:2). It's so easy to brush Him off, stifle the Christmas Spirit, and miss the opportunity of a lifetime. Yet, if we want to, we can hear Jesus breathing on us the words: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). The Spirit descends quietly as a dove (Mt 3:16), noticeable only to those who want to notice.

"My point is that you should live in accord with the Spirit and you will not yield to the cravings of the flesh" (Gal 5:16).

Prayer:  Father, today immerse me in the Spirit.

Promise:  "He saved us through baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." —Ti 3:5

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus is the Beloved Son of the Father! (Lk 3:22) All praise and glory to Jesus, the Chosen One!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Don't Stifle the Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006

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