It is 5th May 2018. The readings are from Acts 16:1-10; and the Gospel from John 15:18-21. The Guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives is crucial to make the right move at the right time. To discern the will of God, we truly need the help of the Holy Spirit. God shows the right direction through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we are in dilemma which way to go. At times, it is the same Spirit of God within ourselves who tells not to go to a particular place. The first reading narrates the second missionary journey of St. Paul and how he was guided by the Holy Spirit. “They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.” (Acts. 16: 6). During that journey St. Paul acquired a new companion in the name of Timothy in his early twenties with the help of the Holy Spirit. Even though Paul wanted to reach the Gentiles during this second missionary journey, he began the preaching with Jews and that is why he circumcised Timothy not to offend them. Is our life guided by the Holy Spirit and do we make efforts to listen to the voice of Holy Spirit in every move we make? The responsorial Psalm intercedes, “Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.” (Ps.99:1). The Gospel teaches us that to be a follower and friend of Jesus we need to pay the price through suffering and sacrifices. We can be rejected and persecuted for so many reasons, but if we are rejected and hated on account of Jesus, we must be assured by the Words of Jesus in today’s passage. “Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (Jn.15:19). Why does the world hate the one who loves Jesus and the Good News? It is because of the life that is contrary to the world and worldly pleasures that leads and makes us come closer to God. Without suffering for Christ in the world, having not gone through certain amount of humiliation and abuse, we cannot claim ourselves to be the disciples of Christ. The world offers every pleasure and material affluence while the life in the Spirit of Christ offers us joy and peace in the Holy Spirit which irritates the life style of those who belong to the world. The believer in Christ is set apart and chosen by Christ for a special and a specific way of life that proclaims the goodness of God through the Gospel way of life. To live such a spiritual and lasting happy life, we need to be guided and reprimanded by the Holy Spirit time and time again. May we allow the Spirit of God to lead and discern the way and plan of God in our lives. May you have a day full of blessings.

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