Reflection for Saturday, May 27, 2000: 5th week in Easter.
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Paul recruits Timothy and crosses into Asia Minor " ... Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the good news."|Invitation to Praise " ... Be sure that Yahweh is God, he made us, we belong to him, his people, the flock of his sheepfold ... "|The disciples and the world " ... A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you to; ... But it will be on my account that they will do all this to you, because they do not know the one who sent me."|The readings in the Acts of the Apostles give us a glimpse into the days of the early church. It is amazing to think about how the Church community grew. Recalling the cowardly actions of the followers who were present at the time of Jesus' death, how was this group of individuals so successful in spreading the Word? The Church multiplied in number and grew exponentially, the whole image is hard to believe. Today's readings give us an explanation of how the accomplishments of this small group were made strong by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul fully in tuned with the Spirit did not travel into an area unless he was told to do so by God's Spirit. His plans were redirected at the prompting of the Spirit.|Paul and his disciples are spreading God's Word, traveling from Derbe to Macedonia (modern day Turkey and then into Greece). The Church is expanding with their outreach. By now they are returning to the earlier established communities to see how they are doing. In the reading Paul is directed by means of a vision to bypass some of the communities they were planning to stop in and go instead to help the people of Macedonia. If Paul had acted on his own, would so much have been accomplished during his lifetime? So many conversions took place because Paul and the other followers listened to God. What a powerful example to apply to our own lives' works.|By the words of the Psalmist we hear that God made us and we belong to God. (Psalm100: 3) We hear yet another reason for us to be called to prayer. But when we follow today's invitation to ask God for direction, we may find ourselves living in a very different space. The circles of people we hang around may start changing. People close to us, possible even family, may become distant. For those who begin to listen to God, the noises of the world will gradually be tuned out.|If we choose to accept today's invitation to listen to the Spirit, then the words in John's gospel also bring comfort and assurance as we begin to separate ourselves from the pack. We find out it is okay to be different. If we were of this world, the world would understand us, but God has called us out of the world. The world hated the Son, and the world put the Son to death. We also hear, we are no better than our Master, whom the world killed. "But it will be on my account that they will do all this to you, because they do not know the one who sent me." (John 15:21)|In listening to the Word today let us go forward, confident in asking the Spirit for guidance. So that we too will accomplish amazing things and further the work of building the Kingdom which was begun so long ago. Built with integrity, we too seek the Truth and wish to live up to higher standards than the world sets. Help us Father to understand your will. Amen
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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