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Saturday, January 6, 2001

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Bl. André Bessette

1 John 5:5-13
Psalm 147
Mark 1:7-11

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"He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit." —Mark 1:8

To be baptized in the Holy Spirit means to be immersed in the Holy Spirit and therefore in the Father and the Son (see Mt 28:19). This means we are no longer immersed in our own concerns, feelings, and thoughts but have died to ourselves (see Lk 9:23). To be baptized in the Spirit is to be crucified with Christ (Gal 2:19-20) and to "live no longer" for ourselves but for Him (2 Cor 5:15). Knowing this, will you still pray: "Come, Holy Spirit"?

The Holy Spirit testifies, that is, gives witness for Jesus (1 Jn 5:6; Jn 15:26). The word for "witness" in Greek is "martyr." This shows that witnesses for Jesus are often persecuted or even killed, as Jesus was. If you pray for the Holy Spirit, you are volunteering to be a witness for Jesus. You are getting yourself in trouble, putting yourself in danger, and risking your life. Nevertheless, will you pray: "Come, Holy Spirit"?

Will you have the true Christmas Spirit, the Holy Spirit? You will have the Spirit only as much as you die to self and accept the cross. On this last day of the Great Jubilee, come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, on this Epiphany, as the Great Jubilee ends, give me the Christmas Spirit no matter what. May I want the Spirit more than I want pleasure, comfort, and acceptance from others.

Promise:  "Whoever possesses the Son possesses life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not possess life. I have written this to you to make you realize that you possess eternal life — you who believe in the name of the Son of God." —1 Jn 5:12-13

Praise:  Blessed André did not have great intelligence and was rejected as a candidate for the Brothers of the Holy Cross at the end of his novitiate. Yet he persevered, and eventually people from all over North America came to him for spiritual direction and healings.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000