the greatest novena and the great jubilee
"You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices; you will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy." —John 16:20
Today, in this year of the Great Jubilee, we begin praying the Pentecost novena. We are possibly on the threshold of one of the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit in history. As God's children begin to exercise their awesome authority (see Mt 10:1) over the strongholds of the evil one (see 2 Cor 10:4), the devil convulses at the manifestation of God's glory. Thus, this Pentecost novena may well be a spiritual battle.
The nine days of this novena may be like the nine months of pregnancy and include, spiritually speaking, morning sickness, labor, and delivery. Jesus taught: "When a woman is in labor she is sad that her time has come. When she has borne her child, she no longer remembers her pain for joy that a man has been born into the world. In the same way, you are sad for a time, but I shall see you again; then your hearts will rejoice with a joy no one can take from you" (Jn 16:21-22).
The nine days of this Pentecost novena may be like the eighteen months Paul spent in Corinth "teaching them the word of God" (Acts 18:11). Paul was tempted to give in to fear and run away from the violent Corinthians. However, he refused to panic, and the word of God bore fruit in Corinth.
Do the Pentecost novena. In love, do it with others to support and protect one another. Do the Pentecost novena no matter what sufferings and obstacles you may face. In this year of the Great Jubilee, do the Pentecost novena, as it was done before the first Christian Pentecost.
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to help me in my weakness, for I do not know how to pray this novena as I ought (see Rm 8:26).
Promise: "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you." —Acts 18:9-10
Praise: Sts. Marcellinus and Peter made converts of their jailer and his family while they were in prison.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999