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Friday, May 18, 2012

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Pope St. John I
Pentecost Novena - Day 1

Acts 18:9-18
Psalm 47:2-7
John 16:20-23

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guilty as charged?

" 'This fellow,' they charged, 'is influencing people to worship God...' " —Acts 18:13

Paul was dragged into court and charged with "influencing people to worship God" (Acts 18:13). That's fantastic! What a marvelous "blemish" to have on your criminal record, personnel file, or reputation!

Undoubtedly the Corinthian Jews were ready to produce any number of witnesses who could testify before the court about Paul's influence in their worship of God (see Acts 18:4, 5, 8). Paul left behind a solid trail of evidence, available for all to see (see 2 Cor 3:2). He was guilty as charged.

If you were charged with such a "crime," could your accusers produce any evidence against you? Would there be people now worshipping God, receiving the Holy Spirit, going to Mass, repenting of sin, or working for justice because of your influence? Hopefully, your accusers would find plenty of these people who could provide the evidence to convict you.

Today is the first day of the Pentecost novena, nine days of prayer preparing to receive the Holy Spirit in new ways on Pentecost Sunday. May our reception of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost have life-changing and world-shaking ramifications. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, use me to bring many people to worship You in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). May they in turn lead many others to likewise worship You.

Promise:  "The Lord said to Paul: 'Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you.' " —Acts 18:9-10

Praise:  Pope St. John I reconciled the schismatic Eastern Church, but gained a martyr's crown from Rome's heretical Emperor.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching, order our tape Staying Filled With the Spirit on audio AV 57-1 or video V-57.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011

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