From Cilicia Paul went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra. Here there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess who had become a believer; but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy, and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.
As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to respect them.
So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.
They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia. When they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.
One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and appealed to him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’ Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the Good News.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If the world hates you,
remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
because my choice withdrew you from the world,
therefore the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too;
if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.
But it will be on my account that they will do all this,
because they do not know the one who sent me.’
Acts 16: 1-10
John 15: 18-21
“The world hated me before it hated you.”
Following on from yesterday’s sharing, it is definitely not easy being a friend of Jesus and a child of God. Not only are we called to love as He does, we were created so that we could go and bear fruit in His vineyard.
Two years have passed since my CER, and my life has taken a complete 180° turn! Leaving my corporate job after 25 years was not an easy decision. I have no idea where God is leading me and my family, I only know that this is what I have been called to do. When I announced my decision to family and friends, most could not comprehend why I would leave a financially stable career to embark on something on my own. Some were skeptical and others, well let’s say they were not very kind. As in today’s gospel, Jesus warned us that we will be hated and even persecuted because of Him. This journey of ours as His heirs is a treacherous one — we will face many rejections, oppressions, and persecution. However, I take solace in his promises that “if they keep my word, they will keep yours as well”, and rely totally on his providence on the way forward.
Furthermore, we are reminded in the first reading, when the early apostles were out spreading His word, they were not doing so on their own strength but drew wisdom, courage, and discernment from God through the working of the Holy Spirit. I too, cling on to His promises and seek refuge in Him as I journey on….
(Today’s Oxygen by Lorraine Wong)
Prayer: Father God, we pray for discernment and courage to do your will, courage and perseverance when the going gets tough and, most of all, a deep desire to love you and claim your promises.
Thanksgiving: We thank you for showing us, through Jesus Christ, what it takes to be your child. For in Him, we have all the answers needed to fulfill our calling here on earth.