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Acts 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them.

He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God.

Psalm 68:1-6

Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, let the wicked perish before God. But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy.

Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds— his name is the Lord— be exultant before him.

Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God gives the desolate a home to live in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a parched land.

John 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,

“Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

(NRSVCE) Meditation

We read about aspects of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts today. Paul found Apollos and his company who had been baptized in John's baptism of repentance but not in the name of Jesus. When they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit they received gifts that would allow them to build up their faith, the gifts of tongues and prophesy. Paul displayed boldness (courage) and fortitude, teaching in the synagogue, also gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The gospel shows clearly that without the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the disciples flee and are scattered in fear. Jesus knows it and lets them know also that he has the Father who is always with him. If we have the Lord with us, we can also have the peace that surpasses understanding. Persecutions happen but they are only obstacles and distractions for the mission of the Kingdom of God. It is up to us to know that God is with us and to receive his gifts so that our hearts may not be troubled and we can see the enemies of God become scattered.

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