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Monday, June 3, 2019

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St. Charles Lwanga & Companions
Pentecost Novena - Day 4

Acts 19:1-8
Psalm 68:2-7
John 16:29-33

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god's word overcomes the world

"You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world." —John 16:33

At the age of sixteen, after Christmas Mass, I found in the alcove of the Church a pamphlet called Through the Bible in One Year. It featured a daily checklist in which you could read several chapters of the Bible a day for an entire year. Each day, you checked the box when you finished the readings, and at the end of the year, you would have read the entire Bible. On the first day of 1973, I was excited to read several chapters of Genesis and checked the box on the list for January 1st. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, I read the Scriptures each day, and on Dec. 31, 1973, I finished the final chapters of Revelation.

The Scripture verse that jumped off the page for me that year was the final verse of today's Gospel passage, the verse highlighted at the top of this page. It came in early fall, and as I read John 16:33, a wave of holy joy and elation which I had never before experienced surged through me. Jesus has overcome the world! He has suffered greatly, but He has conquered the very worst this world could throw at Him, so that we could be saved and share eternal life with Him. Alleluia!

I still cannot read John 16:33 without experiencing that same surge of joy. The Word has overcome the world. The Spirit fights against the world (Gal 5:17) and helps us overcome the world, the flesh (see Eph 2:3), and the devil (1 Jn 2:16). Praise Jesus forever! He has overcome the world and gives us courage to do the same.

Prayer:  Father, on this fourth day of the Pentecost novena, send the Holy Spirit to teach me Your Word.

Promise:  "As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and utter prophecies." —Acts 19:6

Praise:  St. Charles & Companions were willing to sacrifice their lives rather than sacrifice their chastity and purity.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018

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