Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Confirmabantur Fide | Strengthened in Faith

"So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily." – Acts 16:5 (NRSV)


Photo by Andrew Moca on Unsplash


St. Paul, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit was proclaiming the good news according to his capacity. During his mission he came across a good and committed Christian named Timothy. Paul  wanted Timothy to accompany him and help him in his mission work. For Timothy it was a great privilege to work along with such a great personality. Together as a team they proclaimed the Risen Christ and we hear that the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

I too personally feel that to strengthen the faith of the people and help the church to grow, first of all we need the grace of the Risen Lord and then we ourselves should have that faith and God experience. Along with this when we work as a team I strongly believe that miracles do happen. The little actions that we do with love and concern can produce more fruits in our lives and in others' lives. Let us try to grow more in our faith and pray for the growth of the Church.



Reflection on Acts 16: 1-5 by Fr. George Joseph SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)

Friday, April 15, 2022

Gratia Christi | Grace of Christ

“The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company…”  Acts 15:39





I am going through a dark season in life presently, but the eye-witness accounts of St. Luke clearly shows that sharp disagreement can arise even among avid followers of Christ. However, by the Grace of Christ, disagreements between humans nor even human failings can't stop the advancement of God's Kingdom or the work of the Holy Spirit in preaching His Word to the ends of the earth.

 May God's peace with us all in this life and beyond. Amen

 

Susan Boyle's rendition of Make Me a Channel of Your Peace ( https://youtu.be/p8Jr2o7oewU )


Make Me a Channel of Your Peace – Susan Boyle

Make me a channel of your peace

Where there is hatred let me bring your love

Where there is injury, your pardon Lord

And where there is doubt true faith in You


Make me a channel of your peace

Where there is despair in life let me bring hope

Where there is darkness only light

And where there's sadness ever joy


Oh, Master grant that I may never seek

So much to be consoled as to console

To be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love with all my soul


Make me a channel of your peace

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned

It is in giving to all men that we receive

And in dying that we are born to eternal life


Oh, Master grant that I may never seek

So much to be consoled as to console

To be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love with all my soul


Make me a channel of your peace

Where there's despair in life let me bring hope

Where there is darkness only light

And where there's sadness ever joy



Reflection on Acts 15:36-41 by Chris Tan

Monday, April 4, 2022

Cum carissimis | With good friends

“With our good friends” - Acts 15:2 (CEV).



Friendship is a very precious treasure. We do agree with this statement. But we also know how difficult and complicated each relationship is. It happens because a true and sincere connection needs two people who are mature. We usually have problems with ourselves. And for that reason, we have problems with other people too.  

Jesus teaches us in his priestly prayer about the value of friendship. He shows his disciples that he trusts and loves them. Although they are not prepared for such a great gift, he offers them his friendship (see: J 15:9-17).  In this way, he gave them examples of how to build a community of believers. So we also need to trust each other and work together.  

In the Acts of Apostles, we see the Church which stands on friendship. In small communities and also in families, people need to become good friends. Only in such an atmosphere we can grow up and face our weaknesses and sins. Only in friendship, we can tell truth to one another. Only in such communities, the Holy Spirit can make miracles. Because as Christians we should love God the Father and also Jesus in the other person. If we follow these commandments, we will do well. But it is a difficult and life-long process. 

We also have to build a community of believers with our talents. We should not give up when we experience misunderstandings. We are to gather together as one Church and read the Scriptures. We ought to encourage and help each other. Thus, we will overcome our disagreements and stay together. As a result, we will teach unbelievers and preach about the Lord who is present among us and in our hearts. 

 

Reflection on Acts 15:22-35 by J√≥zef Trzebuniak SVD.

(Listen to the Podcast here).