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Sunday, May 23, 2004

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Pentecost Novena - Day 3

Acts 1:1-11
Ephesians 1:17-23
Psalm 47
Luke 24:46-53

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lost love or new love?

"He was lifted up before their eyes in a cloud which took Him from their sight." —Acts 1:9

Because we can grow in love when we are in someone's presence, we treasure the time we spend with those we love. A birth is such a wonderful event because the baby is present to the world and not only to the mother. A death is so difficult because we can no longer in the same way be in the presence of the one who has died.

Therefore, Jesus' ascension would seem to have presented a major problem. Jesus could no longer be seen, heard, or touched. This would seem to make our relationship with Him impossible. However, Jesus said that He would not leave us orphans (Jn 14:18) and that He would be with us forever (see Mt 28:20). He even said that it was better for us that He go (Jn 16:7).

After Jesus' ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit so that we could be much deeper in love with Him than when He walked the earth. In the Spirit, we have the faith to be baptized into Jesus (see Rm 6:3). He lives in us; we live in Him (see Jn 17:23). We even receive His body and blood (Jn 6:56). Nothing like this was possible when Jesus lived on the earth. Jesus' ascension is an astounding opportunity to be in deep love with Him, if we receive the Holy Spirit of Pentecost. Otherwise, Jesus' ascension is a tragic loss. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, on this third day of the Pentecost Novena, make me see the inadequacies of my love for You and make me desire new and greater life and love.

Promise:  "As He blessed, He left them, and was taken up to heaven. They fell down to do Him reverence, then returned to Jerusalem filled with joy." —Lk 24:51-52

Praise:  "He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit; seen by the angels; preached among the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up into glory" (1 Tm 3:16).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003