Monday May 11, 2020
Happy Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter! I pray everyone and their loved ones and friends are safe and well. I’ll tell you, I had a slight sore throat and some heaviness in my chest on Thursday evening and Friday for most of the day and it kinda scared me. I thought, is this the beginning of me getting sick, and I began thinking about having to get tested (and how to go about doing that), calling my doctor, going to the hospital…it was quite unnerving. I was relieved, when Friday afternoon I began feeling better. And I felt foolish for, in my own mind, over-reacting to the situation. I prayed about it, asking God for calm and peace and the fortitude to accept and handle whatever comes my way. And I think it’s a good thing to pray about that normally, asking for the ability to accept whatever situation we are in and know, I mean really know and believe, that the Lord is with us and will carry us through that situation. Not worrying about, “what am I” going to do about this, but “what are we” (ourself and the Lord) going to do to get through the situation.
I want to focus on the reading from Acts today and the power of the Holy Spirit which filled Paul and Barnabas. As they preached and healed throughout their travels they came upon places where they were revered and placed they were revilied, as we see in today’s passage and in tomorrow’s (feel free to read ahead). And it struck me how similar to Jesus’ travels this was and how similar our own faith travels are. When we speak to people about our faith, our words can be met with many different reactions. Today, we see the people of Lystra treat Paul and Barnabas as the Greek Gods Zeus and Hermes, which angered the two Apostles. As we see so often in the Acts of the Apostles, these followers of Jesus don’t want adulation, in fact they considered it more of an honor to be persecuted in the name of God. So what do they do here, they speak in order to take the focus off thmselves and place it where it belongs to God and Jesus, the living God.
My friends, in this time in our world where spreading the word of God is so important and helping those who don’t know Jesus or who have fallen away from Him, to trust that the love of God is there for their taking as relief of their troubles, we cannot become discouraged. For just as Paul and Barnabas were filled with the Holy Spirit, so are we, that exact same Holy Spirit who gave them strength and wisdom and the words to speak is in us as well. We can speak the Good News, we can heal the affilicted with our words and our actions. We too must have the faith that Paul and Barnabas did in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit, that we have the gifts to bring others to Christ. Reach out to those whom you know could use a shot of Jesus’ love and peace. Give them a call, drop them a note, send them a Holy Card or a old photo of the two of you together. We can all be missionaries right now, even though we can’t go anywhere. Use the tools we do have for communication to “reach out and touch someone.” How relevant this old marketing phrase is now, now more than ever. Stationary missionaries or I think today the term is “intentional disciples”. We can evangelize, we can heal, the words and actions of love, mercy and kindness can spread the Good News in very powerful ways.
So let’s make it a point this week to “reach out and touch someone” with the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.