Mass Reading & Meditation for May 7, 2013
Meditation: Acts 16:22-34
6th Week of Easter
… while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God … (Acts 16:25)
Years ago, a large American brokerage firm boasted in commercials, “When [we] speak, people listen.” The ads usually featured a young professional bringing a restaurant’s chatter to a halt simply by mentioning where he worked.
God speaks to us every day, in many different ways, though sometimes it’s hard to hear him through the “crowd noise” going on around us. But he is speaking. He can speak to us even through someone who isn’t speaking directly to us at all! This is what God did in the jail where Paul and Silas were imprisoned. Despite their wounds from a severe beating, they sang hymns to the Lord. The jailer might well have gone to sleep that night listening to the apostles’ praise. And the other prisoners, presumably dangerous criminals, didn’t mock these two strangers. Instead, they listened, enraptured.
Although the singing wasn’t directed at them, the other prisoners heard and were touched. The apostles’ praise was so profound, in fact, that “the foundations of the jail shook” (Acts 16:26). It was both an unexpected place and an unexpected time, but God used the earthquake and the hymns to speak to both the jailer and the prisoners that night. The prisoners were so touched that they didn’t run for their freedom when they had the chance. And it’s likely that God used the prisoners’ response to speak to the jailer and bring him closer to conversion.
We don’t know when or how God will speak to us next. It may be through a homily directed at us or through a hymn we sing at Mass. But maybe it will be through an overheard conversation, a sentence we read by chance, or a billboard we see on the road. God’s word to you today may echo softly in your thoughts or occur as a powerful stirring of your heart. No matter how he chooses to speak to you, one thing is certain: he will speak!
So try your best to be alert. Listen for what God will say next. Who knows? Maybe it will be a message that rocks your world!
“Father, I want to hear your voice! Open my ears and eyes and heart to catch what you are saying to me.”
Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8; John 16:5-11