God is to be found everywhere … including on a rock formation where exhausted St. Paul sought refuge and a place to pray. There he met Lydia, and some other women who had gathered along the river.
In today’s reading, we learned Lydia was a God-fearing woman meaning she was well acquainted with Judaism. But something happened as St. Paul spoke. Lydia listened intently to Paul and she asked to be baptized along with all the members of her family. Not only was her heart opened but she also opened her home.
In opening her home, Lydia provided a place not only for Paul and his followers but for all new Christians to gather for prayer, for the breaking of the bread. Her home would become a domestic church.
The corona pandemic has made many of our Christian homes domestic churches where families have gathered for prayer and spiritual Eucharist.
In John’s gospel today we heard Jesus say once again that he would send us the Spirit, the Advocate. We had evidence of the presence of the Spirit in the exchange that took place between Paul and Lydia. It was the Spirit that nudged Lydia to be receptive to receiving the message about Jesus and reach out to others in her community.
That same spirit is at work today in the lives of people today, who like Lydia, act on a moment of inspiration and do what is good.
We also heard Jesus remind his followers that the road ahead would be a difficult one and not without its pain and struggle. Those words of Jesus then are no less true today. Jesus sought to prepare us for the trials we will face. They will be real but ultimately not victorious.
I offer you this simple prayer for God’s gift:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love. Amen.
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About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!