Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
May 11th, 2010

Chas Kestermeier, S.J.

English Department
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Tuesday in the Sixth Week of Easter
[292]Acts 16:22-34  
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 7-8
John 16:5-11

The story of Paul and Silas is a tale of marvels, but possibly the biggest marvel is that we don't feel how untypical the attitude and actions of the two men are.  The two of them are attacked by the crowd for their opinions and words, and yet they are the ones who are flogged and then jailed, treated as dangerous criminals with special precautions against their escape. 

And as they are awaiting some sort of disposition of their case they respond by praying and singing hymns?  It almost sounds as if they were rejoicing in the treatment they are receiving...  After the earthquake which sets them free, why is it that they do not flee and that they even convince the other inmates to remain with them?  What are Paul and Silas thinking?  What is in their hearts that causes such results?

I think that it is just the results of a firm faith in Christ, in season and out of season, the kind of faith that believes that I am living safely in the hands of God, that these terrors are not so much something that God saves me from as it is that He asks me to accept and grow through them.  Paul and Silas's faith in their tribulation bears fruit in those who witness it: the jailer and his family "believe in the Lord Jesus" and are saved, him and all his household.

I believe that the kind of faith that I seek in the Lord is not so much that He can save me from dangers and tests but that He Himself offers them to me as opportunities for growth, chances for me to see how He is my life and my hope.  Can I sing hymns and give thanks in the midst of troubles, knowing that the Lord is near even then?

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