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Saturday, May 4, 1996

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Acts 13:44-52
Psalm 98
John 14:7-14

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life in the spirit

"The disciples could not but be filled with joy and the Holy Spirit." —Acts 13:52

Paul and Barnabas suffered "violent abuse" and were expelled from the territory of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:45, 50). Most people react to abuse with anger, unforgiveness, or other forms of retaliation. We tend to attack the abuser physically or at least in court. However, Paul and Barnabas responded to the abusive treatment they suffered by being "filled with joy and the Holy Spirit" (Acts 13:52).

The Holy Spirit makes us holy. He transforms us and empowers us to act in godly ways. In the Spirit, we respond to evil with good (see Rm 12:21), to violence with forgiveness, and to rejection with love. The Holy Spirit can take someone like Philip, who didn't even know Jesus (Jn 14:9), and turn him into a missionary-martyr-saint. The Spirit can turn a coward like Peter into the preacher of Pentecost, the first Pope, and a glorious martyr. The Spirit can take us in our selfishness and compulsions and make us loving, pure, and free.

On the first Easter evening, Jesus breathed on the apostles and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). The Father and Jesus continue to give us the Spirit. Receive the Holy Spirit now and live a new life.

Prayer:  Father, where there is hatred, let me give love, and where there is injury, pardon (from the Prayer of St. Francis).

Promise:  "I solemnly assure you, the man who has faith in Me will do the works I do, and greater far than these." —Jn 14:12

Praise:  Catherine can rejoice in otherwise sad circumstances because she lives in the Spirit.

Reference:  (Pentecost is approaching. Pray about ordering our booklets, Seek The Gifts of the Spirit and Praying For A New Pentecost.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 10, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 13, 1995