Archive for May 18th, 2019

Acts 24: Listening to the Voice Within

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Paul Before Felix

Do we unite? Do we divide?  Do we disrupt?  Do we bring peace?  Do we shun and set aside?  Do we call together and make room?  Do we take?  Do we share?  Do we hide?  Do we reveal?  Do we tear down?  Do we make new?

When we hear Jesus speak about division rather than peace in Luke 12 and Matthew 10 we think at first that we have misunderstood his words but no . . . this is what he says:  I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism  to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!  Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.  From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.  (Matthew 12:49-53Jesus tells us that there will be times when we will put ourselves in danger and that when we do he will accompany us to guide us.  We will have to listen for his voice within.

Paul finds himself up against great odds; he faces the lies of false accusers.  How does he react?  How does he go on?  He relies on God, he looks to the risen Christ, and he allows the Spirit to speak through him.

When we find ourselves in dark places with people we thought we knew but whom we now see as strangers, we too will need to know how to react.  We will need to know what to do.  And so we must also listen to God within and allow the Spirit to speak through us.

We continue with more thoughts from Fr. Zundel’s meditation from yesterdayHence [we have] the image of greatness that can only express itself by dominating others, using dependence as a pedestal.  Our natural desire to be great, contaminated by  this image, inevitably develops in this direction as a craving for power, of which Jesus alone has radically cured us be revealing that God’s inner life is an eternal communion of love . . . A totally new notion of greatness comes to light in this infinite giving, which is God himself, something we are meant to imitate in ourselves by interacting with him . . . it is these moments of self-liberation that we best know God and experience him most strongly as the supreme and innermost reality within ourselves. 

St. Paul found that voice within . . . and he allowed it to speak in and through his own words and actions.  We see him converting others to The Way from his prison cell even as his own life dwindles in its years here on earth.  He does not seek greatness or power.  He seeks to do God’s will, and in this act . . . he has greatness.  A greatness far beyond any mortal fame or supremacy.  When I find myself up against power which wishes to control, or power which acts in passive aggression, I am frightened and anxious.  It is in these moments that I remember stories like today’s from Acts 24 . . . and I always ask myself:  What do I fear?  And as I sort through my confusion and alarm . . . knowing that I must unscramble myself in order to do God’s will . . . I become still as something wells up inside of me and whispers in my innermost ear: You know what to do, listen to the Voice Within.

A re-post from May 3, 2012.

Image from: http://tyotb.blogspot.com/2012/03/pauls-trial-before-felix-acts-25.html

For more on Paul’s trial before Felix click on the image above or go to: http://tyotb.blogspot.com/2012/03/pauls-trial-before-felix-acts-25.html

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 28 February 2008: 396-397. Print.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: