We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,
from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.
We began Totus Tuus training today at Bishop Lane Retreat Center in Rockford. There are six dioceses that have gathered for this training – Joliet, Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, Lexington (KY), and Madison (WI). There are 68 college students along with several priests and team leaders that have gathered to grow in holiness and prepare to give retreats in the summer to young people (grades 1-12). There is a lot of energy and faith gathered here. We appreciate your prayer support for what these college students will be undertaking this summer.
What a beautiful reading we have today from the Acts of the Apostles. The disciples were willing to go to the ends of the earth to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Imagine what that kind of life was like. They didn’t have the internet where they could just send out a “thought for the day” to share the message of Jesus. There were no cell phones, Facebook or twitter; however, they had the Word of God to share.
In today’s Gospel, the disciples are walking along the river and they are looking for a place to pray. This is important – they knew they could do nothing without charging their spiritual batteries through connecting to the Source of everything – Jesus Christ. This is so important for us to realize that even when we have a beautiful desire to serve the Lord, if we try to do it without prayer, we will fall flat on our face.
While they are seeking a place to pray, they come upon a woman selling her cloth. She was a believer in God but had never been baptized. We can only imagine the fire in St. Paul’s preaching. His heart was so on fire with the Holy Spirit. His words must have pierced the hearts of so many people. Some were open to hearing his words with joy; others were so challenged or angered by his words that they wanted to kill him.
But this woman’s heart was touched by the Holy Spirit through the power of Paul’s words. “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.” She and her household were baptized, and then she invited the disciples to stay in her home. Wow!
Don’t let these words today just brush past you. Take time to put yourself into this reading and allow yourself to hear Paul’s words, to feel the breeze on your face, to view the wonder in this woman’s eyes. Allow the Holy Spirit to capture your heart anew, just as this woman’s heart was captured. May the fire of the Holy Spirit come alive in your hearts so that you want to share it with all you meet.
Have I become too comfortable in my walk with Jesus?
What does the Holy Spirit want to awaken in my heart today?
Have a blessed day!