Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts18,23-28 Resp. Psalm: Ps47,2-3,8-10; Gosp. Accl.: Jn16,28; Gospel: Jn16,23-28
Witnessing to the Lord is the product of a personal encounter with Him. That encounter is always a life transforming experience. It is an encounter that changes one's perspectives and the direction of one's life. It is an experience that gives one a courage and boldness that one's friends and enemies find amazing. It is however, the Lord who is at work!
St. Paul and the other Apostles were not the only ones who had this encounter and had a change of life. There were disciples who were not only touched by the Lord but who themselves became life transformers! One of these was Apollos from Alexandria who had not just become a believer but even more importantly, had become a preacher of the good news!
Apollos had known only the baptism of John! He had not been baptized with the baptism of Jesus! Even though he had known only the baptism of John, and had to be instructed more accurately about the way of God and especially of Jesus Christ, he was so eloquent and convinced that he confirmed the Jews in public with the use of Scriptures. Such was the life of total conviction that Apollos displayed.
The Apostles and early disciples were not just believers in Jesus. They took the words spoken by the Lord literally. They held on tenaciously to the promises He made to them. They believed in Him with the totality of their hearts. Our Lord had assured them and all believers after them that if they asked anything in His name, He would give it to them.
Our Lord told them to ask and that they would receive, that their joy might be full. Our Lord told them to ask in His name, that is, to pray to the Father through His name. He told them the Father would grant their request because He was going to the Father from whose side He had come into the world in the first place.
The words of the Lord, the promises He made, gave them a courage and boldness that even their adversaries could not understand. It gave them a capacity to open themselves up to the power of the Holy Spirit to work within and through them. They opened themselves to the Spirit of Jesus and became change agents.
The Lord invites us today to reflect on His mighty works which He accomplished within and through these Apostles and disciples. More than that, the Lord invites us to think of the great things He could achieve within and through us if and only if we could open ourselves fully to what the Spirit wants to work within and through us.
"Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit O Lord and they shall be created and Thou shall renew the face of the earth."
Let us pray: "O God, whose Son, at his Ascension to the heavens, was pleased to promise the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, grant, we pray, that just as they received manifold gifts of heavenly teaching, so on us, too, you may bestow spiritual gifts." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. Happy Weekend.