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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

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Pentecost Novena - Day 5

Acts 20:17-27
Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
John 17:1-11

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do i have to receive the spirit?

"The Holy Spirit has been warning me from city to city that chains and hardships await me. I put no value on my life if only I can finish my race." —Acts 20:23-24

One of the main conditions for receiving the Spirit is a desire for the Spirit. Jesus says: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me; let him drink who believes in Me. Scripture has it: 'From within him rivers of living water shall flow.' (Here He was referring to the Spirit)" (Jn 7:37-39).

The world tries to intensify our carnal desires by appealing to our selfishness. It says we will feel good if we buy, eat, drink, smoke, or do this or that. However, the Lord intensifies our desire for the Spirit by appealing to our selflessness. Unless we deny our very selves, we cannot be His followers (Lk 9:23). The Spirit compelled Paul to go to Jerusalem where chains and hardships awaited him (Acts 20:22-23). This certainly doesn't appeal to our selfish desires. The Spirit inevitably leads us to persecution, hardly a pleasant prospect. Many feel uncomfortable with the gift of tongues. Moreover, who wants a new wine skin, that is, a new lifestyle, to hold the new wine of the Spirit? (Lk 5:37)

Why then would we want the Spirit if He doesn't appeal to our selfishness? We want the Spirit simply because the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, sent by the Father and the Son as a Gift and our Paraclete. We have no right to selfishly refuse God and His Gift.

Prayer:  Father, may I receive the Spirit because You want me to.

Promise:  "Father, the hour has come!" —Jn 17:1

Praise:  Melissa received a greater outpouring of the Spirit only after accepting God's perfect timing.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Holy Spirit Our Hope on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006

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