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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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2 Kings 2:1, 6-14
Psalm 31:20-21, 24
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

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leaving and staying

"Elisha answered, 'May I receive a double portion of your spirit.' 'You have asked something that is not easy,' [Elijah] replied." —2 Kings 2:9-10

To receive a double portion of God's Spirit, that is, to be filled with the Spirit, is a matter of leaving and staying. We must leave behind sin, selfishness, pride, ego, the world, the flesh, and the devil. In addition to leaving these evil things, we must leave behind good things. For instance, Elijah told Elisha to stay in Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho (see 2 Kgs 2:1-6). It was good to stay in these places, or Elijah would not have told Elisha to stay. However, Elisha had to leave these places and follow Elijah to receive a double portion of Elijah's spirit. Some of us likewise must leave behind good things, like the possibility of marriage, a comfortable lifestyle, or a particular ministry, so as to be filled with the Spirit.

In addition to leaving, we need to stay with Jesus, as Elisha stayed with Elijah. Then we will be filled with the Spirit. We stay with Jesus by staying with almsgiving even when the Lord challenges us to grow in faith during trying times (see Mt 6:2ff). We also must stay in prayer. We don't want to be like the three sleepy apostles in the Garden of Gethsemani (Mt 26:40). Furthermore, we must stay in fasting, stay in reading the Word, stay in the Church, stay active in being Jesus' witnesses, stay faithful in our vocations, and stay in ministry during good times and bad (see 2 Tm 4:2). By leaving and staying, we are filled with the Spirit and stay that way.

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, may I let You do everything You want to do in my life.

Promise:  "Keep your deeds of mercy secret, and your Father Who sees in secret will repay you." —Mt 6:4

Praise:  Sarah and her husband stayed together thanking God their mutual love returned and grew.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 20, 2016

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