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Saturday, May 18, 2013

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Pope St. John I
Pentecost Novena - Day 9

Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
Psalm 11:4-5, 7
John 21:20-25

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"For two full years Paul stayed on in his rented lodgings, welcoming all who came to him. With full assurance, and without any hindrance whatever, he preached the reign of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." —Acts 28:30-31

In its original Greek, the Acts of the Apostles ends with the word translated "without hindrance" (Acts 28:31). This seems an abrupt and less than grand finale. Moreover, it seems unusual for Luke to claim that Paul proclaimed God's kingdom "without hindrance" after Paul had been confined to a room for two years, under house arrest, with a soldier at the door (Acts 28:16).

Luke ends Acts by showing that there is no chaining God's word (2 Tm 2:9) and no stopping the Christian people. You can lock us up, but we'll still take the Gospel to the ends of the earth by world-changing intercession, mountain-moving faith, and enemy-converting redemptive suffering. You can kill us, but we will rise from the dead and be resurrection witnesses with even greater power.

The only thing that can stop us is us. Repent. Live in faith. Obey God. Receive the Spirit. Be His witness (Acts 1:8). Renew the face of the earth (Ps 104:30). Come, Holy Spirit of Pentecost! Come again! Come now! Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, may this be the greatest Pentecost.

Promise:  "There are still many other things that Jesus did, yet if they were written about in detail, I doubt there would be room enough in the entire world to hold the books to record them." —Jn 21:25

Praise:  Pope St. John I suffered imprisonment for love of truth and unity during which he ultimately died for his faith in Jesus.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Evangelism and Worship or our audio AV 49-1 or video V-49.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012

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