Today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles is a reminder of the important role that wives and mothers, grandmothers, and aunts play in our families, as demonstrated by Lydia, who listened to Paul after the Lord opened her heart.
I love how the reading begins as if one of the Apostles is writing home to us, describing that they
“… set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,” and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to where the story takes place in Philippi, a leading city, and a Roman colony.
The story continues to explain how Paul and the others made their way just outside the city gate along a river where they thought there would be a place of prayer. And from that place, something special happened, all because they met a woman named Lydia who had faith in God.
In these first descriptions, we get a sense of how the Apostles went out with a purpose, seeking to lead others to God and, in this case, engage a family member who would be so inspired that she, with the help of Paul, led her family and household to baptism in Jesus.
The message of Jesus and the grace of God working through Paul and Lydia also led her to want the Apostle to stay in her home during their time in the area. She welcomed the ambassadors of Jesus to stay with her and her family. There’s a lesson for us in this part, too … that is to intentionally invite and make God present in our homes through family Rosary prayer and hosting our extended family and friends to share our faith and pray for one another, as part of our regular times together.
As I mentioned in the beginning, we honored our mothers yesterday in the U.S. in a month that we venerate Our Blessed Mother; it is so fitting that today we recognize how God can work through a wife and mother, whether in Lydia’s time or now, to bring her family and friends to know and love God more deeply.
Let us ask our Blessed Mother’s intercession to help women and men, boys and girls, listen to God each day with an open heart so that we may help others, beginning with our families, to invite Jesus to come and stay with us and always be in our homes.
May God bless you and your families this holy day!
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