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Sunday, December 15, 1996

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3rd Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11
Luke 1
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28

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the tragedy of tragedies

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me." —Isaiah 61:1

The Holy Spirit wants to bring good news to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, and set captives free (Is 61:1). Only the Holy Spirit can renew the face of the earth (Ps 104:30). However, we stifle, quench (1 Thes 5:19), sadden, and grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30). Then the poor stay depressed and oppressed; the broken-hearted are shattered; the captives are chained with even more chains; and the face of the earth becomes more defaced.

One of the greatest tragedies in life is to stifle the Holy Spirit. This is the tragedy which causes so many other tragedies to continue or grow worse. Before the Lord commanded us not to stifle the Spirit, He ordered us to always rejoice, pray, and thank (1 Thes 5:16-18). If we accept God's grace to always do these three things, we will not stifle the Spirit.

So, when you're about to stifle the Spirit by using your tongue for gossip rather than for evangelization; rejoice, pray, and thank. The Spirit will be stirred into flame in your life (2 Tm 1:6-7) and not stifled. When you're senselessly staring at the TV, turn it off and persevere in joy, prayer, and thanks. You will have turned off the TV before it turned off the Spirit in your life.

Rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4). Pray always (Lk 18:1; Rm 12:12). Dedicate yourself to thankfulness (Col 3:15). Live in the Spirit.

Prayer:  "Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up Thy rest."

Promise:  "There is One among you Whom you do not recognize — the One Who is to come after me." —Jn 1:26-27

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus is risen and is coming soon! Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Reference:  (Be set free for Christmas. Pray about ordering our leaflet, TV Addiction.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996