Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.
During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s lines from the Acts of the Apostles describe Paul’s missionary journeys through Asia Minor as he made his way towards ancient Macedonia. The author of Acts reports great enthusiasm for Paul’s preaching: “Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in number.”
Today marks the end of the fifth week of Easter. Throughout this Easter season our own faith communities have increased in number and grown stronger in faith. As this year’s Easter celebration moves us towards Jesus’ Ascension on May 28 and then the great celebration of Pentecost on June 4, each of us can profitably examine just how we have grown in faith. The following reflection questions may help:
What particular grace has come to my heart this year?
What Easter gifts do I notice within our family?
How have I shared a bit of Easter joy and hope and faith at work? Around our neighborhood?
What particular gift of the Holy Spirit do I particularly beg God to send this Pentecost?
How will that gift make a difference in my life and attitude?
How am I letting the Risen Jesus stretch my heart and horizons this Easter 2017?
—The Jesuit prayer team
Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and homes with your grace and new life.
May we go forward these Easter days “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, untiring in love.`”
—The Jesuit prayer team