"We testify to this. So too does the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those that obey Him." —Acts 5:32
To believe in the risen Christ, we need the Holy Spirit. That's why on the evening of His resurrection, Jesus commanded the apostles: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). To receive the Holy Spirit, to stir into flame the gift of the Spirit received in Baptism and Confirmation (2 Tm 1:6-7), we must obey the Lord in extremely challenging circumstances.
For example, Peter and the apostles obeyed the Lord by continuing to teach about the name of Jesus in the face of imprisonment, threats, and beatings (Acts 5:28ff). In this obedience, they experienced the life and power of one Pentecost after another. Mary obeyed the Lord and received the Holy Spirit so perfectly that her reception of the Spirit was a conception (Lk 1:35). However, her obedience made it probable that Joseph would divorce her (see Mt 1:19), and it put her in danger of being executed as an adulteress. For the early Jewish Christians to continue to receive the Spirit, they had to obey the Lord by being in community with Gentile Christians. This was unthinkable for Jews who had never set foot in a Gentile's house or touched a utensil used by a Gentile.
What outlandish command is the Lord giving you now? Obey Him, receive the Holy Spirit, and believe in the Holy Spirit as never before.
Prayer: Father, may I delight (Ps 40:9) to express my love for You by obeying You (see 1 Jn 5:3).
Promise: "He does not ration His gift of the Spirit." —Jn 3:34
Praise: St. Joseph willingly gave up his employment and security to take Jesus on the road as a refugee to Egypt (see Mt 2:13).
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Obedience School, or our tape Obeying God on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013
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