MONDAY OF THE SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER MAY 27, 2019
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 16: 11-15
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.
REFLECTION: 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.
With cup of coffee in one hand, my meditation book, and rosary in the other, my plan was to spend some quiet time with the Lord. All my household chores were done, the pillows and footstool were put in place and I was ready for this time. From the corner of my eye, I noticed my next door neighbor and then the knock. She had a bouquet of flowers and wanted to visit and see how we were doing. We spent a good two hours conversing, sharing and laughing. We discussed PAPA.
St Paul was taken to Philippi by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit did not allow him to go to Asia. When Paul found that in Philippi there was no synagogue, he had to change his plans and preached to women by the river. One of the women was Lydia, a wealthy Gentile woman. She allowed God to open her heart and became Europe's first convert to Christianity.
So many times we see things from our perspective and are very slow to see the opportunity for the kingdom of God. Are we too quick to allow our plans to become our service to God? Do we quit if our plans are ruined? Do we lose our energy when people don't respond immediately?
That day Paul was allowed to bring Lydia closer to Jesus. Paul was in the right place as was Lydia. Lydia did not just open her heart but she opened her home to Paul and his missionaries. She was willing to let them see her untidy home, the messy cupboards, the trinkets, the dirty closets, the cluttered kitchen and maybe her family. Her home became the first church in Europe. Complete trust in the Lord led Lydia to open herself to God and to the missionaries. Is it time for us to open up our inner messes to God?
We are meant to be a community --a church. We are asked to share our gifts and possessions with the church. May our priests use their gifts and ability to explain scriptures, especially their priestly gifts of the Mass and Communion.
God Bless You.