Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: May 10, Lectionary # 291. Acts 16:11-15. Psalm
149:1-2,3-4,5-6.9. John 15:26-16:4.
We pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit during this coming week. The
Scriptures are our source for this fruitful prayer and for our intimate
relationship with the protector and nourisher of our hearts and souls, the
Holy Spirit. Jesus promises us that the Father and he will send the
Paraclete (our advocate) who will be the one who stands beside us in our
witness to Jesus and his Gospel. Normally, there is some form of a novena
that we are able to enter into after Ascension Thursday that aids us in
keeping this prayer and devotion to the Holy Spirit alive within us. We
need such promptings about the Spirit and from the Spirit from time to time
and this is the supreme time for it. Carpe Diem (seize the opportunity).
We keep our eyes fixed on the Pentecost Event as we move through this week
with the liturgy of the word. The Spirit will and does descend upon us as
we are gathered and then sent for mission each time we celebrate the
Eucharist. We can easily keep in mind the image of the Upper Room where
Mary and the disciples and friends of Jesus are gathered in unity through
prayer and waiting for the promise of Jesus to be accomplished.
In our first reading, and throughout the Acts of the Apostles, we have
become aware of the Spirit’s presence in the lives of the apostles and
their followers. Journey after journey displays the Spirit leading Paul
and Barnabas to apostolic effectiveness and witness even to those who
remain in Jerusalem and worship at the Temple with James their overseer.
We see in today’s passage that Paul gathers along the banks of a river for
prayer. Some women are led to join with them and the trust and openness of
one named Lydia, a dye maker who not only joins them but invites them to
her home. We learn the importance of inviting others to pray and to join
in our ministries. We learn hospitality from this good woman. She tells
Paul and his companions, “If you are convinced that I believe in the Lord,
come stay at my house. She managed to prevail…and they did stay with her.
This is how the early church grew in new lands with new people.
Our Psalm and its response is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving. It gives
us the community dimension of prayer and worship in a liturgical setting in
the Temple. The Holy Spiri descends upon those who join in with the spirit
of the psalm in the central act of worship in the Church. Amen. Alleluia.