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Sunday, May 18, 1997

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Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23

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the pentecostal cycle

"Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them." —John 20:22- 23

Come, Holy Spirit! Happy Pentecost! Happy birthday to the Church! Alleluia!

Before receiving the Holy Spirit, we must repent of sin (Acts 2:38). After receiving the Spirit, we are to proclaim to the nations repentance and the forgiveness of sins (Lk 24:47). After Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the leaders of the Church, He commanded: "If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound" (Jn 20:22-23). In summary, before receiving the Spirit, we must begin to remove the planks of sin from our lives (Mt 7:5). After receiving the Spirit, we must then remove the specks of sin from others' eyes (Mt 7:5).

When we first repent ourselves and then try to remove others' sins by warning them (see Ez 3:18; 33:8) and praying for them (1 Jn 5:16), we realize even more our need for greater repentance. This greater repentance opens us to receive the Holy Spirit in greater ways. Then we again join with the Spirit in convicting the world of sin (Jn 16:8) and helping others even more to accept God's grace and be freed from sin. As we see others convicted of sin, we become convicted ourselves. We repent more and receive the Spirit more deeply. Thus we have a cycle which results in ever greater life in the Spirit — repentance, receiving the Spirit, leading others to repentance, more personal repentance, receiving the Spirit more deeply, etc. By obeying Matthew 7:5, we can have a continuing, ever-increasing Pentecost. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, thank You for the privilege of repenting and leading others to do the same. Come, Holy Spirit!

Promise:  "Tongues as of fire appeared, which parted and came to rest on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit." —Acts 2:3-4

Praise:  Alleluia! Praise You, Father, through the Son, and in the Spirit! Praise You, Holy Spirit! Thank You for Pentecost! Alleluia!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996