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Wednesday, November 24, 1999

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Vietnamese Martyrs

Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
Daniel 3:62-67
Luke 21:12-19

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the holy spirit — then, now, and forever

"I have heard that the Spirit of God is in you, that you possess brilliant knowledge and extraordinary wisdom." —Daniel 5:14

Daniel helped bring down the Babylonian empire by letting the Spirit of God live in him and work through him. We Christians attack the gates of hell (Mt 16:18) and bring down the strongholds of the evil one (2 Cor 10:4) by the power of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:8). On the threshold of the Great Jubilee and the third millennium, we, renewed by the Spirit (see Ps 104:30), will replace our culture of death with a civilization of love and life. At the end of the world, we will have a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Jl 3:1-4), by which we will contribute to the destruction of the Antichrist and the end of the mass apostasy (2 Thes 2:3-8).

We have needed, do need, and will need the full power of the Holy Spirit in and throughout our lives. Most of us reading this have been baptized and confirmed, and therefore we have received the Holy Spirit. However, we all have quenched (1 Thes 5:19) and saddened the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30) by our sins, selfishness, and yielding to fear. Consequently, we must repent and stir into flame the gift of Holy Spirit in our lives (2 Tm 1:6-7). Otherwise, we will not be able to be free in the present and victorious in the future. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, as we conclude this year dedicated to God the Father, may the Holy Spirit cry out in my heart "Abba" ("Father") (Gal 4:6).

Promise:  "By patient endurance you will save your lives." —Lk 21:19

Praise:  The Vietnamese Martyrs, 117 known witnesses who gave their lives for their faith in Jesus Christ, included bishops, priests, religious, and laity.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 10, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 16, 1999