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Thursday, June 9, 2011

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St. Ephrem
Pentecost Novena - Day 7

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
John 17:20-26

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i'd rather switch than fight

"A dispute arose between Pharisees and Sadducees which divided the whole assembly. (The Sadducees, of course, maintain that there is no resurrection and that there are neither angels nor spirits, while the Pharisees believe in all these things.)" —Acts 23:7-8

The Holy Spirit has always been controversial. In Jesus' times, the Sadducees and the Pharisees fought about the Holy Spirit. We also fight about the Pentecostals, the Charismatics, and the Holy Spirit. These public controversies outwardly express our interior conflicts concerning the Spirit. Deep down we want the life in the Spirit, but at the same time we don't want anyone telling us what to do, even if it's the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, Who is the Lord Himself (2 Cor 3:18).

We must resolve this interior conflict by surrendering our wills to the Lord, that is, to the Holy Spirit. With Jesus, we must say to the Father: "Not my will, but Yours be done" (Mt 26:39, our translation). "The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh" (Gal 5:17). "If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the evil deeds of the body, you will live" (Rm 8:13).

On this seventh day of the Pentecost novena to the Holy Spirit, let's deny our very selves (Lk 9:23) and accept Jesus as Lord. Then we will also find Him to be the Baptizer in the Spirit (Mk 1:8).

Prayer:  Father, may all "be one as You, Father, are in" Jesus, and He in You (Jn 17:21). Come, Holy Spirit!

Promise:  "I pray that they may be [one] in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." —Jn 17:21

Praise:  St. Ephrem proclaimed the Holy Spirit in his writings and especially in his songs.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Baptism in the Holy Spirit on audio AV 43-1 or video V-43.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011

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