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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

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Pentecost Novena - Day 5

Acts 20:17-27
Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
John 17:1-11

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power from on high

"I am on my way to Jerusalem, compelled by the Spirit and not knowing what will happen to me there — except that the Holy Spirit has been warning me." —Acts 20:22-23

Yesterday we read about St. Paul's first visit with twelve Ephesian men who received the Spirit, spoke in tongues, and prophesied (Acts 19:6). Today and tomorrow we learn about Paul's last visit with these Spirit-filled Ephesian leaders. The Holy Spirit accomplished so much between these two meetings. These twelve Ephesian men began an evangelistic outreach which spread God's word to "all the inhabitants of the province of Asia, Jews and Greeks alike" (Acts 19:10).

Over a million people heard God's word. "Meanwhile God worked extraordinary miracles at the hands of Paul. When handkerchiefs or cloths which had touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases were cured and evil spirits departed from them" (Acts 19:11-12).

The movement of the Spirit was so powerful that it changed the Ephesian economy and threatened to put the silversmiths out of business (Acts 19:25). The power of this Ephesian church makes us think it was composed of super-saints. Yet the Ephesians were weak and sinful, just like us. In working with them, Paul had to insist on repentance and on faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21). For three years, night and day, he never ceased warning them "even to the point of tears" (Acts 20:31). These Ephesians were very human but were chosen to become extremely powerful in the Spirit. Give in to the Spirit so His power can also flow through you.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I thirst for a movement of the Spirit greater than anything before.

Promise:  "I have given You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave Me to do." —Jn 17:4

Praise:  Although David was away from church for many years, he followed God's call and now is a daily communicant.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005

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