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Sunday, January 9, 2011

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10
Matthew 3:13-17

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on the last day of christmas

"Immediately on coming up out of the water He saw the sky rent in two and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove." —Mark 1:10

The Church waits until the last day of the Christmas season to pray for us to receive the Christmas Spirit, the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit came to Jesus at the River Jordan, so we can receive the Spirit today in a new way, if only we thirst for Him (Jn 7:37).

The Lord wants to give us the Spirit much more than we want to receive Him. Therefore, the purpose of all these days of Christmas is to increase our desire for and openness to the Spirit. We may not want the Holy Spirit of Christmas because in the Spirit we cannot do our own thing. The Spirit will lead us out of a life of selfishness, isolation, petty pleasures, and slavery, and into a life of service, evangelization, persecution, and freedom. The Spirit will lead us into the desert where we will fight Satan and emerge victorious (Lk 4:1).

If we receive the Holy Spirit, our whole lives will be different and our new year will be truly "new." On this last day of the Christmas season, trust your Father with your life and your lifestyle so as to receive the Holy Spirit of Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, by the power of the Spirit, may I know for sure that I am Your beloved and favored child (Mk 1:11).

Promise:  "I take it you know...of the way God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good works and healing all who were in the grip of the devil, and God was with Him." —Acts 10:37-38

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, in Whom the Father is well pleased. Praise the Holy Spirit, the Heavenly Dove. Alleluia!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Baptism in the Holy Spirit on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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