It is 22nd May 2017. We celebrate the memorial of St. Rita Cascia, Religious. The readings are from Acts 16:11-15; and the Gospel from John 15:26-16:4. The first reading is the second missionary journey to spread the Gospel in Europe. St. Paul founded the church in Philippi. It is the Lord who allows the Word of God to enter into the hearts of people. The preaching of St. Paul touched the heart of Lydia, a wealthy business lady who provided the accommodations. “She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying.” (Acts. 16:15). God will surely provide all the means and resources when we truly work for the Lord through the person of the Holy Spirit. As the Lord wishes to bless us, so we need to have the generosity of St. Paul to go an extra mile for the Lord. We just need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in working for the Lord. Our blessings and protection always comes from the Lord through people like Lydia, who not only accepted the Word of God, got converted and was willing to provide. A true believer is the one who does not take ‘No’ for an answer. We all have something to learn from Lydia, the first convert in Europe by St. Paul. She was fearless to invite the apostles when they were in trouble with some other rich and influential authorities. Hospitality and generosity of Lydia was so remarkable, the apostles accepted her invitation to stay in her home to do the work of evangelization. The responsorial Psalm praises, “The Lord takes delight in his people.” (Ps.149:4). The Gospel invites us to be the witnesses for Christ when going for Him becomes tough. It is the Holy Spirit would strengthen us and make us a genuine and bold believer for the Lord in such conflicting and challenging times. The persecution for the believer is inevitable yet in all challenging times, we need to be the witnesses for Christ. Holding on to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit would surely help us through any situation. To be a witness is to stand for the Truth, Christ himself. Unless and until we hold to the Spirit of Truth we can never become a witness. Growing hatred towards the Christian morals and values are found in every nook and corner where Christian lives. Let us be a witness for Christ and willing to walk for the Lord who loves us. May you have a good day.

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