Monday, June 30, 2008

St. Paul--a Man with a Mission

Pope Benedict XVI has announced a special Jubilee Year of St. Paul. What a blessing this will be! I expect there will be a lot of resources for us to read about this great saint, but I have decided to begin my journey in the Acts of the Apostles.

I have begun at the end of Chapter 7, where Paul is present at the martyrdom of Stephen, "consenting to his execution," as the beginning of Chapter 8 tells us.

As I read through these portions of Acts again, I am trying not to focus so much on the details, but on the spirit that moves the people. I am looking at their understanding of their mission, and it is quite clear:

"The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord." (11:21)

"For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people." (11:26)

The formation of the early church becomes even clearer, in chapter 15, where they assemble for the Council of Jerusalem.

The Apostles, the presbyters they appointed to lead, and the Church, gathered together and made decisions; practices and teachings were clarified. No wonder the Catholic church takes seriously its responsibility to share the Good News.

Their mission--without a doubt--was to draw others to Christ.

That remains our mission as disciples of Christ, and His church, as well.

As we follow St. Paul this year, we should compare ourselves to him. How is the Spirit moving me? How determined am I to stay true to Christ? How important do I see the mission of drawing others to Christ?

These are good questions for us to reflect on.

As I continue my journey, I'll bring some of my thoughts to you here in this space. A recommended website to begin your journey is:

Please add your comments here as well, to share with others.

God bless,

Friday, June 13, 2008

Is the Lord Whispering to YOU?

Today's reading comes from the first Book of Kings, Chapter 19: 9-12 . . .

Elijah is told to "Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by."

Then came a strong wind, scripture tells us, "but the Lord was not in the wind."

Then came an earthquake "but the Lord was not in the earthquake."

Then came a fire, "but the Lord was not in the fire."

Scripture says that "After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound."

That is where God can be found, in the tiny, whispering sound, but so often we look for him in the loud thundering clamor, don't we?

Why do you suppose we have trouble hearing God today? Is it because we are so noisy we can't hear His whisper? Or, perhaps, we are looking in the wrong place!

Let your heart be open today to God's whisper. Set aside some quiet time for the Lord. If you are struggling with finding God in whatever is happening in your life, persevere in asking for His help. God is always with us, whether we hear Him or not!

God bless,