May 18, 2020
by Tom Quinn
Creighton University's School of Medicine
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 291

Acts 16:11-15
Psalms 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A, and 9B
John 15:26--164A

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Finding Hope in the Easter Season

Doubting Comes from
Being Out of Communion

The phrase, "a straight run from Troas to Samothrace, then on to the port of Neapolis and Philippi,” sounds like a modern description of an Aegean cruise. St. Paul’s trip was certainly not for pleasure. He and his companions were called by the Holy Spirit to travel from Asia Minor to Macedonia, which then was a Roman colony. Paul believed that he would make converts there. Since the city was Roman, and pagan, Jews, and others, who did not worship the Roman gods, were allowed to worship outside of the walls, near a river. It was there that he met Lydia and members of her household. Since her trade was in very expensive purple cloth (or, perhaps, dye), we associate her with the wealthy, aristocrats, and royalty; only they could afford Lydia’s product. Despite her need to be in favor with her customers, Lydia “believed in God”, and followed her faith. Paul and his companions were able to preach to Lydia and her household members; Paul later baptized them in the river. They were the first to be baptized in Europe. Lydia persuaded Paul and his companions to stay at her home. This seed of an early Christian community in Europe, was planted just outside of the walls of a city; it was not welcome in the mainstream of society. Even though not much was written about Lydia, we know that her wealth, influence, faith, and strong personality helped to create an opportunity for Christianity to thrive.

So often, in Christian history, women have provided leadership, support, and a myriad of examples of faith in action. When we later read, in Acts:16, of Paul’s difficulties with the authorities in Philippi, it becomes clear that Lydia continued to stand by Paul and the Christian faith. She, like Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalen, provided an early template for women whose deep faith and strength contributed so much to the growth of the early church. Let us pray that we will have the wisdom to follow the examples of the holy women of the church; be open to the good news that Jesus gave us, and to act on it.

Jesus tells us in the Gospel about the “Spirit of Truth” who will come from the Father to support and to testify to the truth. Jesus assures us that we will not be alone when we too testify to the truth of his teaching. We will be comforted and supported by the Holy Spirit who is our advocate and our paraclete. He is with us always, as are the Father and the Son.

It is easy to despair, especially in these difficult times. It is important to believe that our God will never leave us. His love is always evident if we open our hearts to it. We must have faith, cling to the truth, and let God give us the strength to persevere. We, too, will find the power to “testify”, to bear witness, to the Lord.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook