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Thursday, January 8, 2009

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1 John 4:19—5:4
Psalm 72
Luke 4:14-22

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waiting for the christmas spirit

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; therefore He has anointed Me." —Luke 4:18

Sometimes our hearts just break. We wish we could wipe out starvation, set all the captives free, reconcile every broken marriage, and evangelize the world within twenty-four hours. However, before we try to do anything and everything, we must wait for the fulfillment of the Father's promise, the release of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5).

The Christmas season will end Sunday with the celebration of the baptism of Jesus. When the Spirit descended on Jesus at His baptism, He began His public ministry (Mt 3:16ff). We too can receive the stirring up of the Spirit at the close of this Christmas season. Then we can begin ministering "glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners" (Lk 4:18).

Jesus didn't move into ministry nor was the Church born until the Spirit was poured out. We desperately need to end Christmas with the release of the Spirit. In the next three days, we should grow thirstier for the Spirit (Jn 7:37), and go to Confession. Then we should wait and pray in the upper room for Power from on high, the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).

Prayer:  "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your love."

Promise:  "Everyone begotten of God conquers the world, and the power that has conquered the world is this faith of ours." —1 Jn 5:4

Praise:  Gloria forgave the drunk driver that crashed into her car.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Praying for a New Pentecost or our audio tapes AV 92A-1, AV 92A-3, AV 92B-1 or our video series of two tapes that starts with V-92A.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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