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Sunday, May 1, 2005

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
1 Peter 3:15-18
Psalm 66
John 14:15-21

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"You can recognize Him [the Holy Spirit] because He remains with you and will be within you." —John 14:17

It has been said on more than one occasion that the Holy Spirit is the forgotten Person of the Holy Trinity. This is a bad sign because the world "neither sees...nor recognizes" the Holy Spirit and therefore "cannot accept" Him (Jn 14:17). Moreover, the Holy Spirit "will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice, about condemnation" (Jn 16:8). Consequently, when Christians ignore and even resist the Spirit, these Christians are acting like those in the world, although Jesus has chosen us "out of the world" (Jn 15:19).

Next Friday we begin again the annual Pentecost novena. As those in the upper room prayed nine days before the first Christian Pentecost (see Acts 1:14), we also have this privilege, as called for by Pope Leo XIII over a hundred years ago. If we are eager to pray this novena to and for the Holy Spirit and zealous to invite others to do so, this is a good sign. This is normal for Christians in that we have been baptized into, that is, immersed in, the Holy Spirit. However, if the Pentecost novena is of little interest to us, it may indicate that our life in Christ is seriously impaired or undeveloped.

On this day when we traditionally think of St. Joseph the Worker and in this month traditionally devoted to Mary, let us pray that we will be men and women of the Holy Spirit as Mary and Joseph are.

Prayer:  Father, may I never quench the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19).

Promise:  "The pair upon arriving imposed hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit." —Acts 8:17

Praise:  Praise Jesus, baptizing us in the Spirit of truth! (see Mk 1:8)

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Pentecost Novena on audio AV 103-1 or video V-103.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

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