Paul came down to Antioch, where he spent a short time before continuing his journey through the Galatian country and then through Phrygia, encouraging all the followers.
An Alexandrian Jew named Apollos now arrived in Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, with a sound knowledge of the scriptures, and yet, though he had been given instruction in the Way of the Lord and preached with great spiritual earnestness and was accurate in all the details he taught about Jesus, he had only experienced the baptism of John. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him speak boldly in the synagogue, they took an interest in him and gave him further instruction about the Way.
When Apollos thought of crossing over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote asking the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived there he was able by God’s grace to help the believers considerably by the energetic way he refuted the Jews in public and demonstrated from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
anything you ask for from the Father he will grant in my name.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.
Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete.
I have been telling you all this in metaphors,
the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in metaphors;
but tell you about the Father in plain words.
When that day comes you will ask in my name;
and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you,
because the Father himself loves you for loving me
and believing that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world
and now I leave the world to go to the Father.’
…. gave him further instruction about the Way
The first reading gave me an impression that the Holy Spirit was working with Saint Apollo, apparently because he was diligent in preaching and ministering to the people about Jesus accurately, although he only knew about the baptism of Saint John the Baptist. Then he met Saints Priscilla and Aquila who instructed him further. Later, he was welcomed to the communities in Achaia and was able to work even more effectively over there.
This passage taught us to be more open to God’s Will as we have all the graces needed. When opportunities come, you will be given more graces to pass through with little difficulty. It is true for me.
I had journeyed in the Catholic Church for at least six years before baptism and confirmation as my parents did not initially allow me to become a Catholic. During that time, I was open and learnt everything from the Catholic Church. I had noticed that my personalities and attitudes had transformed over the period. When I started ministering to the deaf community after baptism, I found that it was not enough as I struggled with some difficulties over there. But I persevered in prayer and faith. Then I started taking a Philosophy course in the Philippines. Everything suddenly opened up to me as I saw many opportunities to learn. When I returned to Singapore for short vacations, everyone noticed a huge change within me as I had acquired more knowledge and perception. According to others, I am starting to speak more and more fluently despite my hearing impairment. Two friends had testified that I am an amazing testimony of God.
Do not be afraid, as God will always be with you. He is there when you need Him. He is still there when you have forgotten about Him. Be humble and open. Then you will be able to see everything clearly over time. Nothing is impossible with God. Just as Saint Apollo and I have proved, we may be imperfect in the present but with the graces of God in the Catholic Church, we can progress towards perfection, the sainthood where our crowns of eternal life eventually lie.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Michael Goo)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, take away all our attachments and set us free. Help us to be more open to Your Holy Will and accomplish It perfectly for all the glory and praise are Yours now and forever. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank you for every opportunity for us to grow in holiness and love. Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, the world without end. Amen.