Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts14,5-18; Resp. Psalm: Ps115,1-4,15-16; Gosp. Accl.: Jn14,26; Gospel: Jn14,21-26
Our God is awesome inspiring. Our God is omnipotent. No power in heaven, on earth or under the earth can compete with Him. His name be glorified now and forever more. But our omnipotent God shares His power with men, especially with believers in His only begotten Son.
The people of Lystra saw what they had never seen in their entire lives. They knew that the power to perform the supernatural was not within the human realm. If and when this happened, they knew it was the manifestation of a divine visitation.
Paul and Barnabas were persecuted in Iconium and attempts were made to molest and stone them. As a result, the Apostles fled to Lystra and Derbe. God whom they served so faithfully was going to turn this loss of peace and sacrifice for the gospel into stupendous harvest of ready and disposed souls. God was going to do something new; He was going to turn the sufferings of the Apostles into rich fruits.
Paul on this occasion as on many others during His earthly ministry, utilized the massive powers of the Risen Lord. Paul met a cripple. This cripple listened to the preaching of Paul. Then Paul knew in his spirit that this man already had faith. This, with words laden with power, Paul said "stand upright on your feet." And the man who had been cripple from birth stood up and walked!
This was an extraordinary manifestation of power that was completely alien to the people of Lystra. They had never experienced such an immediate deployment of massive divine power. They thought Paul and Barnabas were gids who had come to visit man and they decided to offer sacrifice to them!
This display of public enthusiasm and zest led Paul to give them a catechesis on what they had just experienced. He told them that whatever they saw was attributable only to the God of heaven and earth who wanted them to turn from the vanity of idolatry to Him, the living and true God.
The Apostles were able to do what they did, to perform great miracles and potents because they knew the commandments of their Master and kept it. This keeping of the Master's commandment was the test to prove the love of anyone who claims to love Him. Our Lord Himself had declared to them during His earthly ministry that "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
When one does not keep or obey the words of Jesus, such a person is equally not obeying the commands of the Father because the word which the Lord pronounced were not His but the Father's who sent Him. But our Lord recognized that there were those among His disciples who would not understand the fullest implications of the word.
For these and the community of His followers generally, He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. In our Lord's words, "these things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."
God also wants credible witnesses in today's world. He wants to use more hands, mouth, feet, eyes, ears, wills, strength, energy to bring about the spread of His kingdom of love. Are ours ready for this important collaboration with Him? Are we disposed to giving a helping hand to the work of evangelization, just the way the Apostles and early disciples did?
Let us pray: "May your hand, O Lord, we pray, encompass your family with perpetual help, so that, defended from all wickedness by the Resurrection of your Only Begotten Son, we may make our way by means of your heavenly gifts."
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts And souls today and always.