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Thursday, May 29, 2014

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Acts 18:1-8
Psalm 98:1-4
John 16:16-20

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prepare the way of the holy spirit (see lk 3:4)

"A leading man of the synagogue, Crispus, along with his whole household, put his faith in the Lord." —Acts 18:8

Tomorrow begins the Pentecost Novena, nine days of intense prayer in preparation to receive the Holy Spirit in fullness at Pentecost. Today is the traditional feast of the Ascension of Jesus, Who left this earth in body and ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. Jesus commended His followers to the Holy Spirit, for "within a short time" (Jn 16:16) they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The apostles were initially stunned and even grieved when Jesus ascended into heaven and left this earth. Yet they devoted themselves to intense prayer. "Within a short time," they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

The Spirit made all the difference. Many thousands were converted, including the most unlikely synagogue leaders such as Crispus (Acts 18:8), and persecutors like Saul of Tarsus, etc. Who in your mind is the most unlikely to change and convert? "For God all things are possible" (Mt 19:26). Pray the Pentecost Novena and "receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22).

Prayer:  Father, give me the commitment of the apostles as they prepared for the initial Pentecost novena.

Promise:  "The Lord has made His salvation known: in the sight of the nations He has revealed His justice." —Ps 98:2

Praise:  "Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for Him, His holy arm" (Ps 98:1).

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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