Monday 6th Week of Easter
Acts of Apostles 16:11-15; John.15.26-16.4.
The first reading from Acts of the Apostles
today sounds like a postcard.
St. Paul is telling us about his journey,
traveling from city to city
much like we would write what we did on a trip.
And much like us, he gives a little more detail
about an event that touched him more deeply
then all the others.
It’s about a woman named Lydia
and how Paul baptized her and her whole household
after she heard Paul speak.
St. Luke tells us that Lydia “listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.”
Let us not be mistaken.
God uses ordinary words and ordinary events,
even so ordinary as a baby born in a stable
or a piece of bread and wine
that becomes the body, blood, soul, and divinity of God.
God will use our ordinary words and actions
to bring others to life in the “ordinary routine” of our day.
But let us not be surprised
when someone hardens their heart to that grace.
For Jesus promised
that it would not always go easy.
“The hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.”
And he adds, “I have told you this
so that you may not fall away.”
Jesus gives us the same strength
he had in his lifetime on earth –
the Holy Spirit, our personal Advocate.
When Jesus experienced
the rejection of his own people
as they called for his Crucifixion,
it was the Holy Spirit
who convicted his human mind and heart
to the truth and who prayed through him,
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Many in the Middle East
are losing their lives
and millions have become refugees
because of their Christian faith.
And those who are taking their lives
believe that they are worshiping God,
just like Jesus promised would happen.
Let us meditate deeply
that our greatest defense against any human adversary
is the mercy of the Lord,
“Father, forgive them,
for they do not know what they are doing.”
This love in Jesus’ heart for his enemies
is the Holy Spirit, our Advocate.