"They opposed him and insulted him." —Acts 18:6
As I write this, a storm has just blown in. There's a strong, driving wind outside (cf Acts 2:2). Lightning is darting throughout the sky and powerful blasts of thunder shake the windows. I hear sirens from fire trucks, police cars, and a tornado warning. It seems like this storm is turning the town upside down.
Tomorrow we begin praying the Pentecost Novena, nine days of fervent prayer to prepare for receiving a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. What storm will result if you receive the Holy Spirit during or after this Novena? It may mean that:
- you must leave your job, as did St. Joseph (Mt 2:14),
- you start a new job, which becomes the launching pad for a new ministry (Acts 18:3, 5),
- you pack up and move where the Spirit leads (Acts 18:1),
- you lose your spiritual mentor (Jn 16:17) and have to step out and take leadership, as did the apostles,
- you will weep, mourn, and grieve (Jn 16:20),
- you step out in bold obedience to the Holy Spirit, and because of that, your church is instantly divided (Acts 18:4ff),
- talented leaders are converted and raised up (Acts 18:8),
- many hear the Word of God and come to believe in Jesus (Acts 18:8), or
- you "shake" off the spiritual and physical debris left by the storm (Acts 18:6), and, undaunted, continue bearing fruit in the power of the Spirit (see Mt 7:24-25).
"Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22), and let Him "stir" up your world (2 Tm 1:6).
Prayer: Father, may I be more concerned with being separated from the Holy Spirit than I am with having to endure upheaval.
Promise: "Your grief will be turned into joy." Jn 16:20
Praise: St. Christopher continued to spread the Good News despite government persecution. In the end, it cost him his life.
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, September 24, 2020
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