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Tuesday, January 18, 2000

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1 Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 89:20-22, 27-28
Mark 2:23-28

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from whining to winning

"The Lord said to Samuel: 'How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.' " —1 Samuel 16:1

Like Samuel, we can mope around and be disgusted with the king, president, government, spouse, children, bosses, media, etc., or we can do something about this culture of death. We can pray for, lay hands on, and anoint those whom the Lord has called to receive the Holy Spirit through us.

This is the year of the Great Jubilee. When Jesus announced the Jubilee, He read from the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; therefore He has anointed Me" (Lk 4:18). Only by the Holy Spirit will we see the injustices and oppression of our society removed and replaced by a civilization of love and life.

Timothy was surrounded by formidable problems as he pastored the Church of Ephesus. He may have even thought of quitting. Paul told Timothy to "stay on in Ephesus" (1 Tm 1:3) by stirring into flame the gift of the Spirit bestowed when Paul's hands were laid on him (2 Tm 1:6-7).

Don't grieve (Eph 4:30) or quench the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19), "for there is One greater in you than there is in the world" (1 Jn 4:4). Come out of the desert of depression "in the power of the Spirit" (Lk 4:14). "Renew the face of the earth" (Ps 104:30) by leading others to new life in the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, give me Pentecosts after Pentecosts.

Promise:  "You are my Father, my God, the Rock, my Savior." —Ps 89:27

Praise:  Being dismayed over the state of her parish, Polly took a priest's suggestion to pray for three specific fellow parishioners. She remained faithful to those prayers and saw God's Spirit prevail.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999