“They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia.”
If you are like me, I set daily goals and create my “to do” lists. On most days I am single-minded about getting those goals and tasks accomplished. I find myself being frustrated when things go wrong or when stuff happens to prevent or limit my accomplishments. Does this sound familiar to you?
In today’s first reading, from the book of Acts, the early Church was most focused on preaching and teaching the gospel message resulting in the people growing in faith and increasing in numbers (verse 5). I find it most interesting that when things went wrong or didn’t go the way they thought it should, the early Christians saw this as a sign of the Spirit leading or preventing them from proceeding. Usually, when things don’t go my way, I sometimes get frustrated or angry rather than discern that God’s Spirit is speaking to me and providing guidance. (Living Faith, April, May, June 2022, Saturday, May 21, 2022, Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda)
I remember in Catholic elementary school beginning each day with the morning offering: “O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart… (Written in 1844 by Fr. François-Xavier Gautrelet found in Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, pg. 48)
What if you and I begin each day offering our day and our “to do” lists to God and ask for attunement to the Spirit speaking to us. Lord, help me to slow down, to listen and discern your guiding and leading me this day.
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.