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Thursday, May 1, 2008

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St. Joseph the Worker

Acts 18:1-8
Psalm 98
John 16:16-20

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"perfect storm"

"They opposed him and insulted him." —Acts 18:6

As I write this, a storm has just blown in. There's a strong, driving wind outside (compare Acts 2:2). Lightning is darting throughout the sky, and powerful blasts of thunder shake the windows. A tornado siren just sounded. Fire trucks and police cars drive nearby, blaring their sirens. It seems like this storm is turning the town upside down.

Tomorrow we begin praying the Pentecost Novena, nine days of fervent prayer to prepare for receiving a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. What storm will result if you receive the Holy Spirit during or after this Novena? It may mean that:

  • you must leave your job, as did St. Joseph (Mt 2:14),
  • you start a new job, which becomes the launching pad for a new ministry (Acts 18:3, 5),
  • you pack up and move where the Spirit leads (Acts 18:1),
  • you lose your spiritual mentor (Jn 16:17) and have to step out and take leadership, as did the apostles,
  • you will weep, mourn, and grieve (Jn 16:20),
  • you step out in bold obedience to the Holy Spirit, and because of that, your church is instantly divided (Acts 18:4ff),
  • talented leaders are converted and raised up (Acts 18:8),
  • many hear the word of God and come to believe in Jesus (Acts 18:8), and
  • you "shake" off the spiritual and physical debris left by the storm (Acts 18:6), and, undaunted, continue bearing fruit in the power of the Spirit (see Mt 7:24-25).

"Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22), and let Him "stir" up your world (2 Tm 1:6).

Prayer:  Father, may I be more concerned with being separated from the Holy Spirit than I am with having to endure upheaval.

Promise:  "Your grief will be turned into joy." —Jn 16:20

Praise:  St. Joseph accepted Mary as his wife, thus enduring scandal, rejection, and relocation, and did so joyfully.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007

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