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Thursday, January 7, 2010

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St. Raymond of Penyafort

1 John 4:19—5:4
Psalm 72:1-2, 14-15, 17
Luke 4:14-22

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movements of the spirit

"Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee." —Luke 4:14

Jesus inaugurated His public ministry by proclaiming: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me" (Lk 4:18). In the Spirit, Jesus preached, prophesied, taught, healed, and delivered many people from the evil one. He called us, His followers, to do the same. He even promised that we would do greater works than He did (Jn 14:12).

Many Christians in our secular humanistic culture doubt whether they can have such power in the Spirit. They don't see great conversions, healings, and deliverances. Their experiences, or lack of experiences, seem to prove the Bible wrong. Yet what if our experiences, not the Bible, are wrong and woefully limited?

Before Jesus manifested such great power in the Spirit, the Spirit had already performed two other works in His life. At the River Jordan, the Spirit descended on Jesus (Mk 1:10) and cried out in His heart, "Abba" ("Father") (Gal 4:6). Then, affirmed as the beloved, favored Son of God, Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:1). To receive the power of the Spirit, we must first go with the Spirit into the waters of our own "Jordan River" to receive our baptism or renew it. Then, we must go into the desert. There we will know deeply the Father's personal love for us. Then we will receive the power of the Spirit to be like Jesus. This Sunday, on the celebration of the Baptism of Jesus, receive the first movement of the Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, in a deeper way give me the Holy Spirit, the only true Christmas Spirit.

Promise:  "We, for our part, love because He first loved us." —1 Jn 4:19

Praise:  At age twenty, St. Raymond taught Christ-centered philosophy for free at Barcelona, Spain.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Power in the Spirit on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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