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Thursday, May 21, 2009

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St. Christopher Magallanes
& Companions

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

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make room for pentecost

"You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy." —John 16:20

Jesus tells us: "Whoever asks, receives; whoever seeks, finds; whoever knocks, is admitted. What father among you will give his son a snake if he asks for a fish, or hand him a scorpion if he asks for an egg? If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children good things, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Lk 11:13)

Tomorrow begins the Pentecost Novena, nine days of prayer in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The nine days of a novena have been compared to the nine months of pregnancy, and this analogy is particularly apt for the Pentecost novena. The first disciples wanted the Holy Spirit badly enough to dedicate themselves to intense, prayerful preparation (Acts 1:14). We must likewise hunger and prepare for the Spirit today.

God wants to lavish the Spirit on us this Pentecost (Ti 3:6). We can contracept the coming of the Holy Spirit in our lives by ignoring the novena. We can begin the novena, but abort the Spirit's coming to us by deciding that the labor pains (Jn 16:21) are too much to bear. Or we can complete the novena and bring Pentecost to birth by devoting ourselves to constant prayer these next nine days (Acts 1:14).

Choose life! (Dt 30:19) To those who "wait" for the Spirit (Acts 1:4), Jesus promises: "Within a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5).

Prayer:  Father, may I be as eager for the Holy Spirit as a newborn baby is for milk (1 Pt 2:2).

Promise:  "Many of the Corinthians, too, who heard Paul believed and were baptized." —Acts 18:8

Praise:  St. Christopher and his twenty-four companions in Mexico, twenty-two priests and three laymen, chose eternal life by giving up their earthly lives in martyrdom.

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 3, 2008

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