- Acts 19:1-8; John 16:29-33
- Jesus’ Departure
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from One Bread, One Body
2015 One Bread, One Body – Reflection for May 18, 2015
YOUR PENTECOST CONFESSION
“As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies. There were in the company about twelve men in all.” –Acts 19:6-7
The twelve Ephesian men so readily gave their lives to Jesus and received the Holy Spirit because they had received John’s baptism of repentance (see Acts 19:3-4). At the first Christian Pentecost, Peter told the people to repent in order to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). On the evening of the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus commanded His apostles to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22). Then he delegated them to forgive sins in His name (Jn 20:23). The risen Jesus made it clear that the baptism of repentance accompanies the baptism in the Spirit (see Mk 1:4, 8).
On this fourth day of the Pentecost Novena, plan to go to Confession as soon as possible. One of the first works of the Spirit is to convict us of sin (Jn 16:8). If we respond to this grace by repenting, we open the door to an amazing series of movements of the Holy Spirit. It is both a necessity and a privilege for us to repent as deeply as possible. When even one person repents, all in heaven, including the Holy Spirit, rejoice (Lk 15:7). Repent. Give God joy. Receive the Holy Spirit.
PRAYER: Father, may sin lose its hold on me (see Heb 12:1).
PROMISE: “You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world.” –Jn 16:33
PRAISE: Pope St. John I preached love even for heretical Arians and died of starvation from his imprisonment for “treason.” “Blest are you who hunger; you shall be filled” (Lk 6:20-21).
2019 GOD’S WORD OVERCOMES THE WORLD
“You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33
At the age of sixteen, after Christmas Mass, I found in the alcove of the Church a pamphlet called Through the Bible in One Year. It featured a daily checklist in which you could read several chapters of the Bible a day for an entire year. Each day, you checked the box when you finished the readings, and at the end of the year, you would have read the entire Bible. On the first day of 1973, I was excited to read several chapters of Genesis and checked the box on the list for January 1st. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, I read the Scriptures each day, and on Dec. 31, 1973, I finished the final chapters of Revelation.
The Scripture verse that jumped off the page for me that year was the final verse of today’s Gospel passage, the verse highlighted at the top of this page. It came in early fall, and as I read John 16:33, a wave of holy joy and elation which I had never before experienced surged through me. Jesus has overcome the world! He has suffered greatly, but He has conquered the very worst this world could throw at Him, so that we could be saved and share eternal life with Him. Alleluia!
I still cannot read John 16:33 without experiencing that same surge of joy. The Word has overcome the world. The Spirit fights against the world (Gal 5:17) and helps us overcome the world, the flesh (see Eph 2:3), and the devil (1 Jn 2:16). Praise Jesus forever! He has overcome the world and gives us courage to do the same.
Prayer: Father, on this fourth day of the Pentecost novena, send the Holy Spirit to teach me Your Word.
Promise: “As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and utter prophecies.” —Acts 19:6
Praise: St. Charles & Companions were willing to sacrifice their lives rather than sacrifice their chastity and purity.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
2020 GROWING PAINS
“As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies.” —Acts 19:6
Most of you reading this have the Holy Spirit living and working within you through your Baptisms and Confirmations. So for you this Pentecost novena should result in growth in the Spirit. However, human beings, even Christians, usually don’t have a strong desire to grow. This is why the Lord commands us to grow (e.g. Eph 4:15; 2 Pt 3:18). Otherwise, we wouldn’t try to grow. Nevertheless, we may even ignore the Lord’s commands for us to grow and thereby disobey Him.
The need for growth implies that we have not yet fully matured and developed. It takes humility to accept this. We must crucify our pride in order to be willing to grow. Growth also implies sacrifice and “growing pains.” Therefore, we must die to ourselves in order to grow.
Twelve men of Ephesus grew in a few hours from being non-Christians to being Christians filled with the Spirit. “They began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies” (Acts 19:6). They grew so much so quickly. They were humble enough to admit their ignorance about the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:2) and to listen to St. Paul’s invitation to Jesus. May we imitate the attitude and growth of these Ephesian men.
Prayer: Father, on this fourth day of the Pentecost novena, break through my pride and selfishness.
Promise: “I have overcome the world.” —Jn 16:33
Praise: Pope St. Gregory VII fiercely resisted any attack on the liberty of the Church. For this he suffered and finally died in exile.