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Saturday, October 20, 2007

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St. Paul of the Cross

Romans 4:13, 16-18
Psalm 105:6-9, 42-43
Luke 12:8-12

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a spirited response

"The Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment all that should be said." —Luke 12:12

There are four passages in the Gospels in which Jesus promises us that the Holy Spirit will put words of wisdom in our mouths that cannot be opposed (Mt 10:17-20; Mk 13:9-11; Lk 12:11-12; 21:12-15). In each passage, the context is that a disciple has been involuntarily detained to be put on trial for their witness to Jesus. Jesus promises us: "In that hour, say what you are inspired to say. It will not be yourselves speaking but the Holy Spirit" (Mk 13:11).

We may never be arrested and brought to court for our faith in Jesus, but as disciples of Jesus, we will face persecution (2 Tm 3:12). The world will attempt to intimidate us and prevent us from speaking about Jesus (see Acts 5:28, 40). "Do not let them intimidate you" (Mt 10:26).

If we believe Jesus when He tells us that the Holy Spirit will speak through us, we will be bold and fearless witnesses. We will count our trials as pure joy (Jas 1:2), for we know Jesus will give us words and wisdom which cannot be opposed by our persecutors (Lk 21:15). Persecution will only serve to further exalt Jesus.

Therefore, "resolve not to worry about your defense beforehand" (Lk 21:14). Instead, spend your time growing in faith, for "all depends on faith" (Rm 4:16). "Live in accord with the Spirit" every day (Gal 5:16), so that it will be second nature for you to "follow the Spirit's lead" (Gal 5:25).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I spend every day of the rest of my life publicly acknowledging You as Lord and Savior in some way.

Promise:  "He remembers forever His covenant." —Ps 105:8

Praise:  St. Paul of the Cross so loved the crucified Jesus that he made His cross part of his name.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007

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