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Wednesday, June 7, 2000

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Pentecost Novena — Day 6

Acts 20:28-38
Psalm 68:29-30, 33-36
John 17:11-19

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"Keep watch over yourselves, and over the whole flock the Holy Spirit has given you to guard." —Acts 20:28

We should live in the present as if we knew that Jesus was going to return in the near future or even today (see Mk 13:34). We should live today as if we were to die very soon (see Catechism, 1014). We should expect to be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12) and severely tempted (1 Cor 10:12-13) in the not too distant future. Paul told the Ephesian elders to expect to never see him again (Acts 20:38) and to see "savage wolves," false leaders and teachers "distorting the truth and leading astray any who follow them" (Acts 20:29, 30). Jesus told His apostles to plan on His going to heaven and on their leading the Church safely through upcoming persecutions (see Jn 17:13-15).

In this year of the Great Jubilee, expect death to be at your door and Jesus to come back soon. Expect sin to abound and grace to abound all the more (Rm 5:20). Expect a future when you will need the full power of the Holy Spirit more than you will need to breathe. "In fear and trembling" (1 Cor 2:3, our transl), in urgency and hope, on this sixth day of the Pentecost Novena, cry out with all your heart: "Come, Holy Spirit!"

Prayer:  Father, may I pray as if my life depended on it.

Promise:  "Consecrate them by means of truth — 'Your word is truth.' " —Jn 17:17

Praise:  Regina agreed to teach religious education out of a desire for her children to grow up in the sacramental life of the Church, but she didn't know the Lord herself. She applied herself to learn her faith and soon came to a personal knowledge of Jesus. She now receives Jesus daily in the Eucharist and is passing on a rich faith in Jesus to her children.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999