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Sunday, May 11, 2014

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:14, 36-41
1 Peter 2:20-25
Psalm 23:1-6
John 10:1-10

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the pentecost guilt-trip

"When they heard this, they were deeply shaken." —Acts 2:37

There were two outpourings of the Holy Spirit at the first Christian Pentecost. At nine AM, one-hundred and twenty people received the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:15; 2:15). Later in the afternoon, three thousand people received the Spirit (Acts 2:41). Between these two great events, a pivotal question was asked by many in the crowd. This question was provoked by the realization that Jesus was Lord, God, and Messiah and that they had killed Him by crucifixion (Acts 2:36). In the midst of the first Christian Pentecost, many people suddenly came to realize that they had killed God. They were deeply shaken by this (Acts 2:37). "They asked Peter and the other apostles, 'What are we to do?' " (Acts 2:37)

To receive a new Pentecost, we need the Holy Spirit to first convict us of our sins, prove us wrong about sin, justice, and condemnation (Jn 16:8), and pierce our hearts with the realization that we, through our sins, were part of the mob that killed God. St. Francis of Assisi preached: "Nor did demons crucify Him; it is you who have crucified Him and crucify Him still, when you delight in your vices and sins" (Catechism, 598). We must stop denying reality. We were guilty of murdering God. This guilt should immediately lead to repentance, freedom from guilt, and the outpouring of the Spirit in a new Pentecost.

Come, Holy Spirit of conviction, guilt, and repentance!

Prayer:  Father, I will agree to go on a very short guilt-trip to my destination, Pentecost.

Promise:  "I am the Gate. Whoever enters through Me will be safe. He will go in and out, and find pasture." —Jn 10:9

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus is risen! "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:55) Alleluia!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 30, 2013

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