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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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Pentecost Novena - Day 6
St. Augustine of Canterbury

Acts 20:28-38
Psalm 68:29-30, 33-36
John 17:11-19

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guard duty

"Keep watch over yourselves, and over the whole flock the Holy Spirit has given you to guard." —Acts 20:28

When we receive the Holy Spirit this Pentecost, many of us will be called to proclaim God's word and/or shepherd His people. Both ministries will put us in danger. The world will hate us for having been given the word (Jn 17:14). We will need to be guarded from the evil one (Jn 17:15).

We, the guarded, have the job of guarding ourselves and the rest of the flock from "savage wolves" who distort the truth and lead astray any who follow them (Acts 20:29-30). Receiving the Holy Spirit puts us in positions where we are in danger — where we need to be both guarded and guarding. Most people don't like guard duty. It's too stressful. Therefore, most people would prefer to skip the Holy Spirit if He's going to put us in such stressful circumstances. However, we are called not to live for ourselves, but for love.

We are called to ask for the Spirit even if that means asking for trouble. We would rather suffer with Jesus than have pleasure without Him. We want the Holy Spirit no matter what.

Prayer:  "O Father most holy, protect them with Your name which You have given Me [that they may be one, even as We are One]" (Jn 17:11).

Promise:  "I gave them Your word, and the world has hated them for it; they do not belong to the world [any more than I belong to the world]." —Jn 17:14

Praise:  St. Augustine bore such an amazing amount of fruit, especially a large number of new converts, that he was made the first bishop of Canterbury.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Staying Filled With the Spirit on audio AV 57-1 or video V-57.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008

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