Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
The first reading for today’s Mass is taken from chapter 16 of the Acts of the Apostles. The early Christians are at another critical turning point. Up to now, the Gospel had been preached only in Asia. But the Holy Spirit invites Paul and Silas to enter Europe. They are welcomed in Philippi but soon face opposition. Before long, they are arrested, flogged, and thrown in prison.
An earthquake strikes the city, bursting open the prison doors. The jailer thinks that his prisoners have escaped, but St. Paul calms him down. The jailer is moved to conversion. After instructing him about Jesus, St. Paul baptizes him and his entire household. The grateful jailer then threw a grand dinner for those who had been his prisoners. What a roller coaster of experiences for the missionaries and the jailer’s family.
Like Paul and Silas, Christians today may be at a loss to know just where God is leading our world and our church. Situations of crisis are not only a test of our character but can lead to renewing our trust in the Lord. The love of Jesus is no less able now than in the time of St. Paul to bring things to a good outcome. Even from the pandemic, some worthwhile changes may emerge and, as Julian of Norwich serenely believed in the midst of a plague in her time, “All manner of things will be well!”
We need to seek divine guidance. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us God’s perspective, lets us see as God sees. That is why we should always call on the Holy Spirit to fill the hearts of the faithful.
Reflection by Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB