Lessons From Lydia
“The soul is regenerated in the sacred waters of baptism and thus becomes God's child.“ ~ St. Maximilian Kolbe
In today’s short but poignant 1st Reading (Acts 16:11-15) we encounter a Gentile woman named Lydia, a purveyor of purple cloth, who is in the midst of her conversion story. Her encounter with Paul and Barnabas reminds us of three key aspects of our faith.
First of all, we are reminded that the cultivation of a vibrant faith life is a journey, filled with ups and downs, peaks and valleys, messy moments and those moments of perfect lucidity. Perseverance, perspective and a reliance on Jesus to lead the way on his schedule is the only path.
Secondly, we must focus on our response to the unceasing grace-filled moments that we encounter throughout the day. In Lydia’s case we see a woman who opened her heart to Paul’s message. This in and of itself is a true act of faith, allowing one’s self to be vulnerable to the unknown, stepping away from that which is familiar and comfortable in the hopes of gaining true spiritual clarity, wisdom, discernment and understanding. On a day in which we honor those who defend our freedom, we reflect upon the soldiers, sailors and airmen who took that leap of faith, understanding the risk of course, but forging ahead anyway, realizing that the freedom for which they fight so valiantly is transformative, and worth it.
Speaking of transformative, the third thing we learn from Lydia is that we can be transformed by God’s grace. In her case she and her family were baptized and thus shown the way to eternal life through Jesus. Through her humble invitation to Paul and Barnabas, she offered rest and accommodation to these two tireless prophets. In doing so, she did her part in service to their evangelization efforts during the infancy of our Church.
Please be sure to pray for the members of our military today, past present and future. Let us also pray for an end to the seemingly unending litany of wars and bloodshed that infect and poison our world.
May peace reign in the hearts of all.