About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’ The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.
In the evening the disciples went down to the shore of the lake and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them. The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough. They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat. This frightened them, but he said, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ They were for taking him into the boat, but in no time it reached the shore at the place they were making for.
Word of the Lord began to spread
This year’s holy week has been just a little busy for me. I belong to a parish that has a decent congregation but somehow, there aren’t many of us lectors. Therefore, I was tasked to read on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil. There were thoughts of going away for a road trip over the long weekend, but I find myself feeling spiritually filled, being led to focus on the purpose of Easter this year. I believe some take this period for granted, that ‘I can do it again next year’. We will never know what happens next. To be able to spread the word of the Lord is indeed a privilege.
Today, let us take the conscious effort to immerse into the word of the Lord, to increase our faith so that no matter how rocky our lives may be, we know the strength of our faith through Jesus is the strongest. Do not be afraid, Jesus has come back to us. Go forth and preach. Read His word aloud, be clear in the message of the Lord. Spread the Good News.
Let us not underestimate what we are capable of with the Holy Spirit. When we are down, it lifts us up. When we are energetic, it fires us up and enables us to spread the Good News in many ways. Take chances to share your enthusiasm with the other, not to convert them, but to show with sincerity where our motivation truly comes from. We have been chosen by the Father, and He has given us the gifts. Do we believe like the disciples; that we do it all for our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Today’s Oxygen by Austin Leong)
Prayer: O Lord, pray for those who have doubts in joining a Church ministry. We also pray for the various parishes around the world who have little enthusiasm, that they may relive the Word of God and build a warm and inviting community.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord Jesus, for coming back to us, for appearing in all our difficulties and guiding us through them.