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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

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Pope St. John I
Pentecost Novena - Day 5

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

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humility and the spirit

"I served the Lord in humility through the sorrows and trials that came my way." —Acts 20:19

Paul "served the Lord in humility" (Acts 20:19) although he was formerly a man "filled with arrogance" (1 Tm 1:13). To be filled with the Spirit, we must be emptied of arrogance; we must be humble. The Lord wants us to humble ourselves (see Mt 23:12) by repenting of our sins, apologizing, washing the feet of others by serving them (see Jn 13:14), taking the lowest place instead of seeking status (see Lk 14:10), exposing ourselves to persecution, turning the other cheek (Mt 5:39), looking foolish (1 Cor 4:10), denying ourselves (Lk 9:23), etc. When we choose to be humble servants of the Lord, He will exalt us by filling us with the Holy Spirit.

If we refuse to humble ourselves, then the Lord's job will not be to exalt us but to humble us. As He did with Saul, the Lord will love us enough to knock us to the ground and reveal to us our blindness (see Acts 9:3-4). At this point, we can take the hint from God and do the rest of the humbling ourselves. Otherwise, He'll need to keep humbling us.

Let's repent, obey, submit, and thank God for giving us another chance. Then the Lord's job will no longer be to humble us but to exalt us. He will do this by filling us with the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, on this fifth day of the novena to the Holy Spirit, may I humble myself as Mary did and receive the Spirit as she did.

Promise:  "I entrusted to them the message You entrusted to Me, and they received it." —Jn 17:8

Praise:  Pope St. John I modeled humility as he suffered death while imprisoned. Though pope for only three years, he unswervingly upheld the truth and opposed the Arian heresy.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Spiritual Blindness on audio AV 65-1 or video V-65.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009

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