Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts16,11-15; Resp. Psalm: Ps149, 1-6,9; Gosp. Accl.: Jn15,26-27; Gospel: Jn15,26-16,4
For the Apostles and early disciples, no opportunity to preach the good news was left unutilized. For them, every situation had to be maximally exploited for the benefit of the gospel. Every group of the human society was preached to. Every gender was the focus of their evangelization outreach.
Every place was seen as the right pulpit to use for the dissemination of the word. They believed they had a product to market. As good salesmen, they were very convinced about the quality of their product and were ready anywhere to showcase it and gain new customers.
Such was the passion of the Apostles and early disciples for their product, the good news. Paul set sail from Texas to Samothrace to Neapolis to Philippi. He and his companions stayed in Philippi for some days, preached the word outside the gate at the riverside, in a place of prayer, to women who had come there together.
It was there they converted Lydia, who was from the city of Thyatira, and who definitely would have taken the good news she received to her own people. They converted people who in their turn became fiery witnesses to the gospel. Their word spread like a wild-fire.
These courageous early disciples of the Risen Lord bore witness to Him. The Master had promised them the Counsellor and had fulfilled His promises to them. The Counsellor bore witness to Jesus; so also did the Apostles. Their witnessing according to our Lord, would include their exclusion from the synagogues. They would witness even to the point of their deaths. Those who killed them would do so because they had neither known the Father nor Jesus.
A true disciple must bear witness. A true disciple must see himself privileged when called upon to testify to the hope he has in him. A true disciple must be glad to be called upon to make known and share the faith he has in the Lord Jesus.
St. Paul and the other Apostles and disciples exploited every opportunity, circumstance, time and place for the maximum benefit of the gospel. We are called to do the same. Let us accept this wake up call from the Lord and allow ourselves to be strengthened by the power of His word.
Let us pray: "Grant, O merciful God, that we may experience at all times the fruit produced by the paschal observances." Amen
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.