So That Scripture May Be Fulfilled...
The oftentimes mysterious will of the Father is on display in both our Reading (Acts 16:22-34) and Gospel (John 16:5-11) today as we look in on two seminal events in our Catholic Faith tradition. Paul’s treacherous evangelical journey is first up, followed by the waning moments leading up to the Pentecost, the pouring forth of this mysterious and enigmatic ‘Advocate’ that Jesus has begun to speak of.
In the case of Paul and his companion Silas, our reading begins with them having been beaten terribly and then jailed. At around midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, a colossal earthquake shook the foundation of the jail in which they resided, causing the doors to fly open and the chains of all who were imprisoned to loosen.
What’s fascinating to note about this story is Paul and Silas’ response to this miracle. After having been beaten and imprisoned, I would venture to say that anyone else in that situation would have fled for safety, for freedom. Yet Paul remained on hand, so that scripture may be fulfilled, and promptly converted the jailer.
Certainly makes one wonder who was truly imprisoned, Paul or the jailer?
In our Gospel, the disciples were all confused and saddened by the fact that Jesus would soon be leaving them. Frightened as well no doubt. Yet we know that this too was to happen in accordance with the Scriptures, so that the Holy Spirit would be poured out amongst the faithful. Jesus’ death (or Ascension as the disciples would soon find out was what in reality was about to transpire) would be for the greater glory of God’s eternal heavenly Kingdom.
Once again, as we fret the day-yo-day, Jesus always has his eyes fixed on the Kingdom that will have no end.
Let us continually pray that we as God’s children come to better understand Scripture so that we will in turn grow in our faith in God’s divine plan, at work now and always, rooted in his immeasurable love for us.