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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

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St. Francis Xavier

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Luke 10:21-24

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"The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him." —Isaiah 11:2

As we begin Advent, the Church directs our attention to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon Jesus, and He "rejoiced in the Holy Spirit" (Lk 10:21). Jesus calls us also to be "Spirit-filled." Those of us who have received Baptism and Confirmation have received the Spirit. However, all of us have stifled, quenched, saddened, and grieved the Spirit by our sins (1 Thes 5:19; Eph 4:30).

As we begin this new Church year, we must let the Spirit be stirred into flame in our lives (2 Tm 1:6). We do this by repenting of sin and asking for a renewal of our life in the Spirit. After we have stopped stifling the Spirit and have been renewed, we should ask the Lord for a completely new movement of the Spirit in our lives. We have only begun to receive the Spirit's infinite graces. There's always so much more, always something new.

Pray with the Apostles: "Grant to Your servants, even as they speak Your words, complete assurance by stretching forth Your hand in cures and signs and wonders to be worked in the name of Jesus, Your holy Servant" (Acts 4:29-30). After that prayer, like Jesus' early disciples, we will be filled in a new way with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 4:31). Receive the Holy Spirit again, now, and anew.

Prayer:  Father, stir up in me wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, and fear of the Lord. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

Promise:  "Blest are the eyes that see what you see." —Lk 10:23

Praise:  St. Francis allowed himself to be a messenger of God's love by constantly and sacrificially ministering to the poorest of the poor in India, Sri Lanka, and Japan.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek the Gifts of the Spirit, or our series of four tapes on Gifts of the Spirit starting with audio AV 3A-1 or video V-3A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013

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