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Sunday, May 4, 1997

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6th Sunday of Easter

Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
Psalm 98
1 John 4:7-10
John 15:9-17

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the spirit of humility

"As Peter entered, Cornelius went to meet him, dropped to his knees before him and bowed low." —Acts 10:25

Cornelius and his family were the first Gentiles to receive the Holy Spirit because they were humble. When Peter, a common Galilean fisherman, entered the home of Cornelius, the powerful Roman centurion, Cornelius humbly dropped to his knees and bowed low before Peter.

Pope John Paul II has taught that the Holy Spirit is received "by the humble and docile heart of the believer" (The Splendor of Truth, 108). At the first Christian Pentecost, those who received the Holy Spirit were those humble enough to ask: "What are we to do?" (Acts 2:37) At Ephesus, twelve men received the Spirit very quickly because they were humble enough to admit: "We have not so much as heard that there is a Holy Spirit" (Acts 19:2). When Mary conceived Jesus by the power of the Spirit, she in all humility called herself the servant girl, the handmaid of the Lord (Lk 1:38). Before the Spirit descended on Jesus, the Lord humbled Himself before His creature John by asking John to baptize Him (Mt 3:13ff).

The Holy Spirit often comes to us even when we only "crack the door" of humility. We will receive the Spirit anew, if we at least humble ourselves a little. A new, although very imperfect, humility precedes a new outpouring of the Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, to the humble and docile hearts of believers!

Prayer:  Risen Jesus, in love and humility, I throw myself at Your feet (see Mt 28:9; Jn 20:17).

Promise:  "As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Live on in My love. You will live in My love if you keep My commandments." —Jn 15:9-10

Praise:  Jesus is the risen Lord of lords and King of kings forever! 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