May 19 Reflection by Deacon Jerry

Reflection for the 6th Tuesday of Easter Acts 16:22-34   Jn 16:5-11 

     Good morning everyone. Sunday with all that rain I was going to the basement when my wife asked me what I was doing. I responded that I was go to build us a boat; she laughed and said good luck, you are not a carpenter’s son! 

    Today’s reading from Acts is in sharp contrast to yesterday’s reading where we see the apostles sailing on a boat in beautiful weather to the next town where they will proclaim the word of God. On the sabbath they walk and look for a place away from the crowd to pray when they have an encounter with a woman and after she converses with Paul she and her household is baptized.

    Today’s reading from Acts opens with Paul and Silas in jail. We read that Paul and Silas were attacked, beaten and thrown in jail. Yikes what the heck happened? The verses just before today’s reading tell us that Paul and Silas were looking for a place to pray when they encountered a possessed slave girl. This girl followed both of the disciples and kept tormenting them to the extent that Paul commanded the spirit, in the name of Jesus, to leave the girl. Of course, the spirit left her, she was cured, but her value to her owners was lost.  This event caused Paul and Silas to be thrown in jail.

     Once again, even imprisoned what does scripture say to us? Paul and Silas are praying and singing, even after being beaten and imprisoned. God hears and answers their prayers giving them the opportunity to escape but they stay. Why? Paul understands the Roman customs and ways, they saved the jailers life by not escaping and by their actions and words they baptized the guard and his family, continuing to do God’s will.

    My dear brothers and sisters what about us? Can we, do we, have this same trust in God that Paul and Silas have, no matter the situation. Sunday I was ready to build a boat with all the rain that day. That dark and dreary Sunday, together with the situation of this virus, that who knows how long it will be affecting us, causes us to be antsy. Like Paul and Silas when we are faced with situations of crises, it not only tests our character but it can lead to a continuing renewal of our trust in the Lord. 

    The love of Jesus is no less able now than then to bring things, events, and our own personal trials to a good outcome. Even from this threatening whirling mess of a viral pandemic, a blown up economy, numerous deaths, unemployment, sheesh what ever, some worthwhile changes probably will emerge. As Julian of Norwich believed, “ All manner of things will be well.”

    My brothers and sisters, sometimes our first impressions in a time of crisis can be wide of the mark. It is in the core belief of our faith; it is in who we are, created in God’s image, that we always are to seek divine guidance, to seek divine truth, the only truth that concerns us today. To truly see others as God sees them, not to judge the way society shows us how to judge but to judge as Jesus judges. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the perspective to see as God sees, to be wise as God is wise.

   Let us imitate Paul and Silas today and everyday with the practice of praying and to pray to the Holy Spirit to fill the hearts of all the faithful.

  Now back to Home Depot to return all this wood.

God bless you all 

Deacon Jerry