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Friday, May 21, 1999

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Pentecost Novena - Day 8

Acts 25:13-21
Psalm 103
John 21:15-19

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unchained and free

"I issued orders that he be kept in custody until I could send him to the emperor." —Acts 25:21

"There is no chaining the word of God!" (2 Tm 2:9) If we abide in God's word (Jn 8:31, our transl), there's no chaining us either. God demonstrated this by calling Paul to take the gospel to the world by taking it to Rome, the center of the Western world (Acts 23:11). Yet Paul was in prison. The Lord inspired Paul to request that his case be transferred to Rome (Acts 25:21). However, Paul had to survive a hurricane (Acts 27:14), a shipwreck (Acts 27:26), and the venom of a deadly snake before he could get to Rome (Acts 28:3-6). There he was allowed to be put under house arrest, where "with full assurance, and without any hindrance whatever, he preached the reign of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 28:31). There is no chaining those who proclaim God's word, although there are repeated, formidable attempts to chain them.

When we receive the Holy Spirit anew this Pentecost, we will be unchained. We will bolt out of the upper room of fear (see Jn 20:19). We will "move about at large" (Ps 31:9) and be set free "in the open" (Ps 18:20; 2 Sm 22:20). Are you tired of being tamed and chained? Do you want to be off the devil's leash? Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, unchain my heart.

Promise:  "When Jesus had finished speaking He said to him, 'Follow Me.' " —Jn 21:19

Praise:  Samantha promised the Lord that she would pray for the Holy Spirit if God protected her father-in-law from an abusive situation. God answered her prayers that night, and she received an unrationed outpouring of the Spirit (see Jn 3:34) and praised the Lord in other languages.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, October 9, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 17, 1998