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Monday, March 7, 2011

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Sts. Perpetua & Felicity

Tobit 1:3; 2:1-8
Psalm 112:1-6
Mark 12:1-12

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better late than never

"On our festival of Pentecost, the feast of Weeks, a fine dinner was prepared for me, and I reclined to eat." —Tobit 2:1

Today's first reading mentions the feast of Pentecost. In two days, the season of Lent begins, followed by the fifty-day Easter season, which culminates in Pentecost, the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. Possibly your Pentecost celebration last year left something to be desired. Tobit had a similar problem. When Tobit celebrated Pentecost, he lived in exile. Tobit's Pentecost meal was interrupted when he found the body of a strangled, murdered man and hid him in his house so that he could bury him in secret after nightfall (Tb 2:3-4). Under these conditions, Tobit's Pentecost was turned into mourning (Tb 2:6). He ate his food in sorrow and wept (Tb 2:5, 7). Then things got worse, as Tobit was blinded in a freak accident (Tb 2:10).

Your Pentecost was probably not as bad as Tobit's, but was it very good? Were you filled with the Holy Spirit? Have you led or even tried to lead many others to a saving love for Jesus? If not, start preparing now for a new Pentecost. This Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. Repent in ashes, and fast as Jesus fasted. Renew your baptismal promises as the Church did on Easter Sunday. "Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

Pentecost does not have to be lost; we can do it over. Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, may I not settle for anything less than Pentecost.

Promise:  "The Stone rejected by the builders has become the Keystone of the structure. It was the Lord Who did it and we find it marvelous to behold." —Mk 12:10-11

Praise:  Despite pressure from her own father, St. Perpetua remained firm in her faith. St. Perpetua, St. Felicity and their three companions were joined in martyrdom by the Christian who had converted them.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010

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