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Friday, August 20, 2010

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St. Bernard

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 107:2-9
Matthew 22:34-40

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"The hand of the Lord came upon me, and He led me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the center of the plain, which was now filled with bones." —Ezekiel 37:1

Ezekiel prophesied over the dry bones, and they started to rattle (Ez 37:7). Mary greeted Elizabeth, and both Elizabeth and the baby in her womb were filled with the Spirit (Lk 1:41). Peter preached at the first Christian Pentecost, and three thousand people were baptized (Acts 2:41). Ananias laid his hands on Saul, who was filled with the Spirit, baptized, and instantly healed of blindness (Acts 9:17-18).

When we prophesy, greet, preach, or pray, most of us don't seem to have such amazing results. The difference is the power of the Spirit. All Christians have the Holy Spirit in them, but many Christians have severely stifled the Spirit (see 1 Thes 5:19; Eph 4:30). Those who rattle dry bones have let the Spirit be very active in their lives.

We stir into flame the gift of the Spirit (2 Tm 1:6-7) especially by repenting of our sins (see Acts 2:38). The psalmist, for example, speaks of God's hand being on him, his bones wasting away, and his strength being dried up (Ps 32:3-4). Yet when he confessed his sins, his bones began to rattle. With the Spirit breathing life into him, he was able to rattle and give life to other dry bones.

If we can't rattle dry bones, we are dry bones. We come alive by repenting of sin. Repent!

Prayer:  Father, Your word is like a sword dividing bone from marrow (see Heb 4:12). Convict me of my sins.

Promise:  "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind." —Mt 22:37

Praise:  Raised by pious parents, St. Bernard was, even at a young age, "conspicuous for his remarkable piety." He worked tirelessly and zealously to preserve unity in the Church.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Don't Stifle the Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010

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