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Sunday, May 11, 2003

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 4:8-12
1 John 3:1-2
Psalm 118
John 10:11-18

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fill up

"Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up." —Acts 4:8

At the first Christian Pentecost, "all were filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4). After Peter and John were released from prison, the first Christian community gathered to pray, and "the place where they were gathered shook as they prayed. They were filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 4:31). Stephen, the first deacon and the first martyr, was "a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5). Barnabas "was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith" (Acts 11:24). The Lord commands us: "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18).

We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit because we may have:

  • rationed our reception of the Spirit due to sin, fear, or ignorance (cf Jn 3:34),
  • quenched (1 Thes 5:19) or grieved the Spirit (Eph 4:30) through sin and selfishness, or
  • had our capacity to receive the Spirit enlarged by the Spirit working in us. Thus, we have more room to receive the Spirit in greater ways, for the Spirit has changed us from petty, narrow, self-centered people to big-hearted, great-souled men and women of God with kingdom-vision.

Consequently, "receive the Holy Spirit" in fullness (Jn 20:22). "Stir into flame the gift of God" that you have received. "The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather One That makes us strong, loving, and wise" (2 Tm 1:6, 7). Be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, may I never limit the Spirit's presence and power in my life.

Promise:  "See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yet that is what we are." —1 Jn 3:1

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11) and risen Lord, Who baptizes us in the Spirit! (Mk 1:8; Acts 1:5)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002