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Thursday, June 1, 2017

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Pentecost Novena - Day 7
St. Justin


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

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"one'' spirit

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

God created man and woman to be one flesh, crafting a supernatural unity (Gn 2:24). Adam and Eve sinned against God, and with their fallen nature, humanity has inherited a tendency to fracture into disunity. Before long, mankind was so wicked (Gn 6:5) that God wiped them out in the flood (Gn 7:23).

So God started over again with Noah's family, and again the human race began with unity (Gn 8:16). Before long, man's pride again resulted in a false unity, as men joined to glorify themselves rather than God (Gn 11:4ff). So God decided to bring division (cf Lk 12:51), through different languages and physical dispersion.

After many years, God sent His Son "to gather into one all the dispersed children of God" (Jn 11:52). Jesus did this by ascending into heaven and, with the Father, sending forth the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, the Spirit started over again and reversed man's disunity. The apostles and disciples "were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to express themselves in foreign tongues" (Acts 2:4). Dispersed people heard and understood the gospel in their own language (Acts 2:11).

Our fallen human nature tends toward disunity. Yet God makes us "sharers of the divine nature" (2 Pt 1:4) by giving us the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit can unite us. "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). Come, Holy Spirit of unity! (Eph 4:3)

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, pour out the love of God in my heart (Rm 5:5). Give me Your heart for Christian unity.

Promise:  "You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in Your presence, the delights at Your right hand forever." —Ps 16:11

Praise:  St. Justin, the first Christian apologist of whom we have writings, promoted the Faith in Asia Minor and Rome.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 22, 2017

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