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Sunday, January 12, 2003

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Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Acts 10:34-38
Psalm 29
Mark 1:7-11

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dungeons, dragons, and the holy spirit

"Bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness." —Isaiah 42:7

Are you in confinement? Are you addicted and enslaved? Are you in solitary confinement? Are you in a dungeon of a marriage or a dungeon of a job? Is your situation not just bad but brutal? Your only hope is to give your life to Jesus and be anointed "with the Holy Spirit and power" (Acts 10:38). In that way, you will be freed from being "oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38).

When we were baptized and confirmed, we were immersed in the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8). However, we must repent of quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 5:19; see also Eph 4:30). Also, we need to grow in the Holy Spirit so that He will be as active and powerful as possible in our lives and world. We need the Spirit to descend on us (see Mk 1:10) and fill (Acts 2:4), teach (Jn 14:26), convict (Jn 16:8), guide (Jn 16:13), and confirm us (2 Cor 1:21-22). In the sequence prayed on the feast of Pentecost, the Church prays to the Holy Spirit:

"Where You are not, men has naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill."

On this last day of the Christmas season, let us cry out: "Come, Holy Spirit!"

Prayer:  Father, may the Holy Spirit cry out in my heart: "Abba" (Gal 4:6; Rm 8:15).

Promise:  "Here is My Servant Whom I uphold, My Chosen One with Whom I am pleased, upon Whom I have put My Spirit." —Is 42:1

Praise:  Praise Jesus, baptized, crucified, risen, and glorified!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Don't Stifle the Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002