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Posts Tagged ‘Pisidia’


Acts 13:44-52Address to the Gentiles

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Yesterday we reflected on Paul’s Summary story of God’s constancy in his love for his people.    God keeps his promises.  God has good things in mind for his creation.  God loves us more than we can imagine.

We first spent time with this portion of Acts on May 29, 2008 and we revisit that reflection today as a Favorite . . .

Because many of those Paul addressed in the synagogue refused to hear the story of Jesus, Paul took his message to the gentile nations.  Many have ears but do not hear, eyes but do not see.  I am thinking about how we humans form community . . . and how we also create obstacles to the formation of community.  We conjure up sides, form alliances, close ranks and lock steps to keep out those who do not comply.  We have the choice in this life to follow Mean Girl Queens and Playground Bullies which ultimately means that we must succumb to threats and insinuations.  We also have the option to stand on Gospel Values . . . which means that we must work to become constant disciples of Jesus.  And it also means that we must put down our old familiar weapons of separation to take up the arms of unity and peace.

The prophecy of Daniel and the story of Esther are worth remembering because they are where we learn that . . . the faithful need not fight, they only need to refuse to comply with anything which causes them to abandon their God.  This is the same message that Jesus brings to us; this is how the kingdom becomes universal.  This is how the Spirit abides and how the Gospel message spreads – through conflict resolved, through obstacles overcome, through pain endured, through reparations made and forgiveness granted.  Where do we go for solace and comfort when we must squeeze ourselves through these Narrow Gate ExperiencesHow do we mature spiritually?  How do we find and maintain the serenity we say we seek? Paul tells this in Pisidia who will hear him, and he tells us today . . .

When we suffer for Christ, we know that we have been chosen . . . we also know that we are loved.

When we live in the Spirit, we know that we live in God . . . and we also know that we live in love.

When we call on God, we know that we are heard . . . and we also know that we are rescued.

I am looking at the morning prayers and petitions from MAGNIFICAT.

The eyes of the Lord are upon those who love him; he is their mighty shield and strong support, a shelter from the heat, a shade from the noonday sun, a guard against stumbling, a help against falling.  (Sirach 34:16)

You are a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in distress; shelter from the rain, shade from the heat. (Isaiah 25:4)

With confidence in the God who hears our prayers and protects us, let us pray:  To our words give ear, O Lord.

You shield us from harm: teach us to protect goodness in ourselves and in others.  To our words give ear, O Lord.

You guard us against stumbling and help us against falling: strengthen our reliance on you in every temptation.  To our words give ear, O Lord.

You are the shelter of all those who are in need: make us a shelter to all who call upon our help. To our words give ear, O Lord.

O God of glory, you are our shelter against the burning heat of the day and the storms of life.  Help us when we stumble, catch us when we fall, and guide our steps firmly in faith toward the promise of eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


A re-post from January 8, 2012.

Images from: http://www.davincisartandcoffee.com/Metal/cross/Heart/default.asp and http://northwaystudents.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/wide-gate-vs-narrow-gate/ 

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 29.5 (2008): 392-393. Print.  

For a reflection on the Book of Daniel on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/daniel-god-calls-the-faithful-and-faithless/

For thoughts on Esther see: https://thenoontimes.com/the-book-of-our-life/esther-from-calamity-to-rejoicing/

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Acts 13:13-43Summary

Monday, January 7, 2019

Pisidian Antioch Church of Saint Peter

What we read today is Paul’s summary of salvation history to the people who have gathered in the synagogue in PisidiaThe synagogue officials sent word to [Paul and his companions]. “My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation for the people, please speak”.  And so Paul rises to address the assembly.

If we allow ourselves to pause with these verses we will easily see that what Paul delineates as the history of the Jewish people can also serve as the outline of our own life of conversion.

God chose our ancestors and exalted the people during their sojourn in Egypt.  We too are chosen and exalted by God.  We too are the apple of God’s eye, the desire of God’s heart.  Let us rejoice and be glad in this news.

With uplifted arm he led them out of [Egypt] and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert.  We too, have been led by God.  We too have been protected; we are guided by the Spirit.  Let us rejoice and be glad that God has the patience to put up with us.

When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.  We too, once we have grown and matured in the Spirit, have come to see that our inheritance of God’s love has been within our reach since the beginning of time.  Let us rejoice and be grateful in this gift.

Artifact from Pisidian Antioch

After these things he provided judges . . . then they asked for a king.  God gave them Saul . . . then he removed him and gave up David as their king.  We too have been given leaders along the path of our spiritual journey.  We too have been guided by those who seek God persistently and who tell the stories of their own conversion.  Let us rejoice and be grateful for their willingness to share their life-giving experiences.

From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.  John heralded his coming.  We too have been given this savior. We too have heard the heralding of Jesus’ coming. Let us rejoice and be glad in the promise of the Christ Child.

The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him, and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets . . . They asked Pilate to put him to death . . . they took him down from the tree and put him in a tomb.  We too have lived through trial and travail.  We too have suffered disappointment and betrayal.  Let us rejoice in the knowledge that we are not alone and that our God accompanies us in our journey of sorrow.

But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.  These are [now] his witnesses before the people.  We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our ancestors he has brought to fulfillment for us [their] children, by raising up Jesus.  We too have seen the fulfillment of these oracles.  We too have witnessed this death and this rising.  Let us rejoice and proclaim the good news that God has fulfilled and continues to fulfill the promises he makes to us.

El Greco: St. Paul

Today we reflect on the summary of our lives and we wonder . . . can it be true that all we have hoped for has been given?  Can we suppose that what others have witnessed is the promise fulfilled that we have longed for through long and lonely nights?  Can we believe that the Christ humbles himself to birth in a stable?  Can we believe that although we believe him gone . . . he loves us still?

Can we act on this summary of our lives . . . and go forward to tell the Good News?


Tomorrow we will reflect on Paul’s words to the gentile people.  For more on Pisidia, go to the Bible Places link: http://www.bibleplaces.com/pantioch.htm

A re-post from January 7, 2012. 

Images from: http://www.bibleplaces.com/pantioch.htm and http://www.holylandphotos.org/browse.asp?s=1,3,8,21,96 and http://faculty.saintleo.edu/reynolds/HON250-F03/projects/culture/Tinturetto.htm

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