As you pause to pray today, do you really believe God loves you? Your answer will often depend on what is happening in your life right now. In our hearts, we know that our answer should always be yes, but the circumstances we have endured or will face today create doubts. Today’s readings reflect this theme of seeking the truth.
Lydia was a woman who sold purple cloth. This was not common in her day. Women seldom were involved with business. Purple cloth was expensive so she must have been a woman of some wealth. And Paul found her at the river with other women who had come to pray. In the town of Philippi, although Jewish, there was much pressure from many types of religion. These women may have been seeking a place of quiet. But quiet would be anything but found as Paul approached. The Spirit of Truth entered Lydia’s heart and she sought baptism. God opened her heart to accept the Christian faith. And when she did her gratitude was expressed in asking Paul and his companions to stay with her to learn more.
The gospel shares that the Jewish people who had turned to the Christian faith were no longer allowed in the Temple. This would have been a hardship as their culture was very family oriented. Not allowed in the Temple meant you could no longer have family relationships. God had entered their hearts filling them with the Spirit of Truth. Once you know Jesus it is difficult to turn away from the truth. It is with you all the time, ready to burst forward.
You, too, are a Spirit of Truth. Many of you reading this have been baptized receiving the graces God has prepared for you. You are to take this Spirit out into the world. And just as the Jewish converts and Lydia and her friends, express your gratitude to God. Invite Him into your life. Share this treasure with others joyfully.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen