Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Where Are We Going?
So, I was telling you the story of how we got to Ephesus. Well, today, we are in Miletus, just thirty miles south of Ephesus. But we got here after a long journey around the Aegean Sea. And we won’t be here for long. Paul is heading for Jerusalem.
“Compelled by the Spirit, what will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me.” (Acts 20:22-23)
Paul is speaking to his friends and coworkers in the gospel, the church presbyters from Ephesus. His tone is solemn. He speaks resolutely, and I can’t help but notice the weight in the room. This is his final farewell.
Paul is our model of a Christian on fire for mission. That is why he could write, “Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.” (Philippians 4:9) Both his words and his life bear witness to the gospel.
He values his life here on earth only so far as he might use it to advance the gospel. He says, “I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:24) That is radical. And so different from our culture today.
We Christians have been entrusted with the same mission. We are called to carry it out, to the extent that we are open and as the Spirit leads. Some Christians are called to complete devotion—for a time, or for their life. Think of all the brave missionaries out there who discerned the call of the Spirit and chose to count everything as a loss because of Christ. “More than that,” Paul writes, “I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8) They did not sacrifice everything and take a radical turn in their lives for the fun of it. It was a deep love for Christ that compelled them. And they let it lead them to wherever it went.
So, where are you going? What is your mission in life? Does it have Jesus and the gospel in mind?
Reflection by Br. Luke Kral, OSB