Ephesians 1:17-23 or 4:1-13 or 4:1-7, 11-13
We experience many transitions throughout our lives. These transitions occur often and sometimes unexpected. We seldom know what lies ahead. During these transitions in our faith journey, we are called to step up, take hold of the reigns and move forward into whatever new venture God has in store for us.
We see the apostles in transition from the role of student to teacher throughout The Acts of the Apostles. The apostles were sent forth to different countries, with the ability to communicate with those from those regions so that everyone could hear the Good News. The evangelization of the Gospel continued even after Christ ascended into heaven. This transition was necessary so that the message of the Kingdom would continue to be spread and carried on for generations.
The Gospel reading today speaks of the beginning of the transition of the disciples going from not knowing to fully knowing and believing. This transition prepared them for the ministry of evangelization they were given. We too are asked often to transition into new roles in this ministry of evangelization. We are called within our families, jobs and ministry to reveal to the nations His saving power (Ps 98).
Transitions are not without challenges. We see Paul in the first reading entering Corinth, attempting to have discussions in the synagogue, trying to convince people that Jesus is the Christ. While he encounters resistance at first, he perseveres and is successful. Just as Paul did, we are will encounter obstacles and nay-sayers. Yet, when we allow God to become part of the conversation, we open our hearts to receive the grace and gift of understanding to listen to what He wants us to hear and say what He wants us to say. This allows us to accept His will for us.We must ask for the grace to have our eyes and ears opened to His voice and presence in our everyday lives. Encountering Christ with an open mind and heart assists us in our ministry of evangeization in spreading the Good News to everyone we encounter.
Yesterday, the Passionist Congregation celebrate the Feast of St. Gemma Galgani. Gemma was a faithful servant of God, and like some of us, she was called to a way of life she had not expected. While there was much pain and suffering in her life, she encountered trials, obstacles and challenges with the fire of love and obedience to God. We should follow the example of this young Passionist saint, accepting transitions in our lives with faith and courage that God has placed these transitions in our lives because of His great love for us. St. Gemma Galgani, pray for us.
Kim Valdez is the Pastoral Associate at Holy Name Retreat Center in Houston, Texas.